43 killed, 247 injured in China train collision

April 28th, 2008 - 1:57 pm ICT by admin  

Jinan (China), April 28 (Xinhua) At least 43 people were killed and nearly 300 injured Monday when a passenger train derailed and hit another in east China’s Shandong province, railway authorities said. The Jinan Railway Bureau in Shandong said 51 of the injured were in critical condition.

One of the trains was en route from Beijing to Qingdao, a famous summer resort in Shandong and venue of the Olympic sailing competition, and the other, from Shandong’s Yantai to Xuzhou in eastern Jiangsu province.

Among the injured were four French nationals, all of whom have been hospitalised with fractures, a spokesman with the provincial foreign affairs office said. But he did not give details about the foreigners.

The train from Beijing derailed in the city of Zibo in Shandong province at 4:43 a.m. About 10 carriages crashed into a ditch. The derailed train then hit the other train, which veered off its tracks under the impact.

Many passengers climbed out of the wrecked train cars shortly after the accident. Some wrapped themselves up in bed sheets to protect them from the biting early morning chill.

Dozens of injured passengers were being treated at the Zhoucun People’s Hospital.

Rescue teams with medical workers and policemen rushed to the scene of the accident from the neighbouring Jinan and Weifang cities, a provincial government spokesman said.

This is the second major railway accident in Shandong this year.

In January, a high-speed train from Beijing to Qingdao ran down a group of railway workers in Shandong, leaving 18 people dead and nine injured.

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