60 Dead, 400 Injured in east China Train Collision
JINAN, April 28 (Xinhua) — The death toll has climbed to over 60 and more than 400 were hospitalized after an early Monday train collision in east China’s Shandong Province, railway authorities confirmed.
The Jinan Railway Bureau based in Shandong said 57 people were killed on the spot and three died at hospitals.
At least 70 of the injured passengers were in critical condition, a spokesman with the bureau said.
Among the injured passengers were four French nationals, all of whom have been hospitalized with bone fractures, a spokesman with the provincial foreign affairs office said.
Their identities were not known.
The casualties were from two passengers trains, one of which was en route from Beijing to Qingdao, a famous summer resort in Shandong and venue of the Olympic sailing competition, and the other, from Shandong’s Yantai to Xuzhou in eastern Jiangsu Province.
The Jinan Railway Bureau based in Shandong said 51 of the injured people were in critical condition.
The train from Beijing, coded T195, derailed in the city of Zibo in Shandong Province at 4:43 a.m. About 10 carriages toppled into a ditch.
The derailed train hit train 5034 and caused the latter to veeroff its tracks, too.
The accident occurred in Hejiacun village, sandwiched between Zhoucun district and Wangcun railway station in the suburbs of Zibo, and about 70 kilometers east of the provincial capital Jinan.
The city government of Zibo has sent a 1,500-member strong team to help and console the victims’ families. Nine hotels and 34 rescue centers have been reserved for the victims’ families.
Many passengers climbed out of the wrecked train cars shortly after the accident. Some wrapped themselves in bed sheets from the sleeper cars in the early morning chill.
Xinhua reporters at the site saw blood-tainted sheets and broken thermos flasks on the ground, and some of the derailed train cars were seriously damaged.
A 38-year-old woman from the provincial capital Jinan escaped from the wrecked train through a huge crack in its floor with her 13-year-old daughter.
“We were still sleeping when the accident occurred,” she said. “I suddenly woke up when I felt the train stopped with a jolt. In a minute or two it started again, but soon toppled.”
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