Chinese Premier orders swift, open, transparent investigation of train crash

08:33, July 28, 2011      

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Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday ordered a "swift, open and transparent" investigation into Saturday's fatal high-speed train collision.

Wen made the remarks at an executive meeting of the State Council, China's Cabinet.

Great importance must be attached to finding out the facts and judging responsibility in accordance with the country's laws and regulations, according to a statement released after the meeting.

Unswerving efforts should be made to save those who were injured in the crash, the statement said.

At least 39 people died and 192 others were injured in Saturday's high-speed train crash near the city of Wenzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province. The train D301 rear-ended D3115, which stalled after losing power due to a lightning strike.

Wen offered his "deep condolences" to the victims and their families.

The State Council demanded for efforts to be made to confirm the death toll, identify the victims and provide proper compensation.

Three railway officials were sacked after the crash.

The MOR has promised to pay the families of the deceased 500,000 yuan (about 77,640 U.S. dollars) each in compensation.

The State Council has set up an investigation panel, which is still working on the site, the MOR said Tuesday in a statement to Xinhua. However, the ministry did not provide a timetable about when the result would come out.

To ease public concerns and prevent further accidents, the State Council has decided to "take resolute steps to enhance safety," according to the statement.

A nationwide campaign will be launched to improve work safety, focusing on areas such as transportation, coal mining, construction and the hazardous chemical industry.

The campaign aims to detect and remove potential dangers through comprehensive and thorough inspections of railways, roads, bridges, coal mines and buildings that are currently under construction.

The State Council urged both central and local authorities to draw lessons from past accidents and improve management, promote technological progress and enhance trainings to prevent accidents.

It also called for efforts to accelerate the revision of the Production Safety Law, defining responsibility and intensifying punishments for those who held responsible for work safety accidents.

Source: Xinhua
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