Chinese authorities are investigating a tragic high-speed train accident in southern China, killing one and injuring eight people. According to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, the train derailed early Saturday, June 4, after allegedly hitting a mudslide.
As it entered a tunnel in Guizhou province, it allegedly hit a mudslide. The impact derailed two carriages and killed the driver.
Eight people were injured, including 7 passengers and one crew member. All other 136 passengers were safe.
Those injured are now in stable condition.
The cause of the accident is under investigation. Landslides have become common in the region amid the heavy rain during the rainy season and the construction of infrastructure in mountainous areas.
A local villager told Chinese media Caixin that it has been raining in the area for the last week. It also started to rain in the early morning of the tragic day.
The villager said that nothing like this had ever happened since it was opened to traffic.
A 63-year-old female villager told Caixin that her house was less than about 330 ft away from the railroad where the accident occurred. That morning she was taking her child home. At about ten o’clock, she heard a loud noise. She recalled the train splashing mud and stones crashing towards the door. Some landed at her house.
The two trains derailed, and four carriages fell off the viaduct.
The accident killed at least 40 people and injured at least 192 people.
According to the report, the crash was caused by serious design defects in control equipment as well as improper handling of the lightning strike.
Officials responded to the accident by quickly conducting rescue operations and burying the derailed cars. These actions drew a strong rebuke from Chinese media and online communities. Besides, the government also restricts free media coverage of the case.
China’s airline industry has also come under scrutiny recently after the mysterious crash of a China Eastern Airlines passenger jet in March, killing 132 people on board. The jet nosedived in an almost vertical manner. People familiar with U.S. officials’ preliminary accident assessment just told the Wall Street Journal in mid-May that flight data shows that someone in the cockpit deliberately crashed the plane.
And in May, a Tibet Airlines flight with 122 people on board veered off the runway during take-off and caught fire at China’s Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport.