Mon, May 12, 2008 - Page 5 News List

Six arrested over train accident in northern China

AFP , BEIJING

Six people, including a train driver, have been detained over a train crash in eastern China that killed 72 people in the nation’s worst rail accident in over a decade, state press said late on Saturday.

Seventy-two people were killed and more than 400 injured when a train traveling from Beijing to Qingdao — site of the Olympic sailing events — derailed in Shandong Province and slammed into an incoming train on April 28.

Initial investigations blamed local rail authorities for failing to order the Qingdao-bound train to slow down at a construction site where an additional rail line was being built for the Olympic Games, officials have said.

The six people detained include a train driver, Xinhua news agency reported, but it did not mention whether it was the person who had been driving the Qingdao-bound train.

Guo Jiguang, the former deputy director of the Jinan Railway Bureau, which oversees the rail line, was also detained, Xinhua said.

Guo had already been sacked from his post after the crash, along with seven other officials.

There were no further details as to what the six people had been detained for.

The Ministry of Railways was unavailable for comment.

The train was traveling at 131km an hour at the time of the accident, well in excess of that rail section’s 80km-an-hour limit, according to officials who carried out the initial investigations.

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