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Crash blamed on multiple factors

(Shanghai Daily)

09:02, August 23, 2011


Xiang Weiyi, the little girl pulled from the wreckage of the train crash in Wenzhou on July 23, is carried by a relative from an ambulance at Shanghai's Xinhua Hospital yesterday where she is to receive further treatment.(Photo by Xinhua)


Preliminary investigations into the Wenzhou bullet train crash discovered serious design flaws in signaling equipment as well as a poor emergency response and safety management loopholes, a top Chinese work safety official said yesterday.

"These factors should all be blamed for the accident," said Huang Yi, spokesman for the State Administration of Work Safety, adding that the tragedy "should have been avoided."

Investigators used data from the trains' black box recorders to aid them in their analysis of the accident, Huang said. "Through their work, we now have abundant evidence and information concerning the cause of the accident."

The government will continue to investigate the crash and identify the individuals or entities responsible for the incident.

"A technical report and an expert panel report on the accident's direct cause have been completed. The next stage will be to identify those who are responsible for the crash," Huang said.

However, Huang did not mention when the two reports will be made public. The SAWS said earlier the results of the investigation are expected to be made public in mid-September.

He said they have to investigate deeper into the accident to reach an accurate conclusion regarding the direct and indirect causes, adding that a finished report from the investigation will be submitted to the State Council, or China's cabinet, in September.

Meanwhile, doctors from Shanghai's Xinhua Hospital have met to discuss how to proceed with the treatment of Xiang Weiyi, the 33-month-old survivor of the July 23 crash. The girl, the last person to be pulled alive from the wreckage, arrived in Shanghai by ambulance yesterday from Wenzhou accompanied by family members.

Her parents were among the 40 people killed when the two bullet trains collided.

Xinhua doctors said they would close an open wound on the girl's left leg within two days as the first step of treatment. The girl has had five operations to remove dead muscles and nerves.

"We will do further checks on the wound soon to evaluate her leg function," said Dr Wu Hao, vice president of Xinhua Hospital. He said there would be a series of tests to determine the extent of the leg injury and guide the follow-up treatment and rehabilitation.

Xiang was trapped in the wreckage for more than 21 hours after the deadly train collision. At one point it was feared she might have to have a leg amputated.

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