Two subway trains collided in central Shanghai yesterday, injuring more than 260 passengers, three critically, prompting renewed public anger just two months after a deadly crash between two high-speed trains.
The collision occurred near the Yu Yuan gardens, a well-known tourist attraction, after a signal failure meant Shanghai Metro Co staff had to direct trains by telephone, state media said.
The company said 500 passengers had been evacuated from the trains and the injured taken to hospital, three of whom were seriously injured.
Ambulances rushed to the Yu Yuan station and emergency personnel were seen carrying injured passengers out, witnesses said.
Pictures posted on Chinese Web sites showed bloodied passengers, some lying on the floor apparently unconscious and others with head injuries.
Shen Jun, 23, who was in the first coach of the train that collided at 2:51pm, said: “Blood was everywhere.”
Xinhua news agency said most of the injuries were bruises and bone fractures.
“Today is the darkest day in the history of the Shanghai Metro’s operation,” a news report by Chinese Internet company Sina said, citing the subway operator’s official microblog. “No matter the ultimate cause and responsibility, [we feel] particularly guilty about the harm and losses borne by the public. We will put in our utmost ability to rescue the wounded, resume operations as soon as possible ... and cooperate with the relevant departments in the investigation”
“Even if our apologies pale in comparison to the actual injuries, we are deeply sorry,” the report said.
However, the statement on Sina Weibo was later removed. It was unclear why.
The Shanghai crash quickly became the most talked about topic on the Sina Weibo service. The line on which the accident occurred opened only last year, part of the cosmopolitan business hub’s ambitious subway expansion plans.
“Another accident — what a joke. So much money has been spent, all they’ve built is crap,” “ggirl” wrote.
The accident follows a collision between two bullet trains in eastern China in July that killed 40 people, which triggered public fury at the government’s perceived slow response and accusations of a cover-up.
Caixi, a Chinese-language magazine, reported on its Web site that the signals used on the Shanghai subway were made by China Railway Signal and Communication Corp, the same firm that was blamed for the faulty signals in the July crash.
In other developments, a train passenger was beaten to death by staff on a train in eastern China, state media reported. Three train staff seized the middle-aged man by the throat and savagely beat him after he intervened in an argument involving another passenger, Jiangxi Television reported on Monday.
Doctors were summoned from an emergency center near the station in Jiangxi Province where the train stopped, but the man died before they arrived, the report said, citing witnesses and the hospital.