Chinese train crash toll rises
Beijing - A Chinese bullet train lost power
after being struck by lightning and was hit from behind by another train,
knocking two of its carriages off a bridge, killing at least 31 people and
injuring 191, state media reported.
The official Xinhua News Agency said four
cars on the second train also derailed, but it did not say how serious that
The first train was travelling from the
Zhejiang provincial capital of Hangzhou when the accident occurred in Wenzhou
city at about 20:30 (12:30 GMT), Xinhua said.
It said one carriage from the first train
fell about 20 to 30m. Pictures on the Internet showed one badly damaged car
lying on its side by the bridge and the second car leaning against the bridge
after landing on its end..
Xinhua quoted an unidentified witness as
saying "rescuers have dragged many passengers out of the coach that fell
on the ground".
The trains involved are "D'' trains, the
first generation bullet train with an average speed of about 150km/h and not as
fast as the new Beijing-Shanghai line.
Xinhua said the train hit by lightning was
"D3115." It said the Ministry of Railways confirmed that it was hit
from behind by train "D301."
China has spent billions of dollars and plans
more massive spending to link the country with a high-speed rail network.
Recently, power outages and other malfunctions have plagued the showcase
high-speed line between Beijing and Shanghai since it opened on June 30.