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Memorial proposed for Wenzhou crash victims

By Zhou Yan (China Daily)

09:34, March 04, 2012

BEIJING - China should establish a memorial for the victims of the tragic high-speed train crash that happened last July to keep their memories alive, Chen Fei, a deputy to the National People's Congress, suggested.

Such a memorial will also enshrine the victims at a site where their families can mourn them, said 56-year-old Chen, a farmer from Wenzhou of Zhejiang province, where the accident took place.

On the sidelines of the annual session of the NPC that will kick off on Monday, Chen said the memorial should be located at the collision site and should display train debris as well as other relics of the crash.

The bullet train rear-ending that killed 40 people and injured at least 192 on July 23 last year was the first fatal crash in China's high-speed railway sector.

The government has pushed vigorously to develop bullet trains in recent years.

Hasty action taken by the railway authorities to conclude the rescue and bury the train debris had drawn widespread criticism from the public.

Premier Wen Jiabao urged officials to thoroughly investigate the case when he visited the scene in person a few days after the crash occurred.

The official investigation report released on Dec 28 showed that the collision was caused by severe design defects of control center equipment and imprecise inspection of the parts.

Fifty-four officials from the railway ministry and signal equipment manufacturers were declared responsible for the faults.

"The trauma to the families and the public is irreparable," Chen said, adding that railway ministry should take the lead to build the memorial site and open it to the public for free.

Chen, an active environmentalist, has been famous since 2008 for dispatching bamboo baskets to protect the environment during the NPC sessions - a campaign to influence people into abandoning the use of plastic bags.

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