Chinese Rail Accident: Investigators Blame Faulty Railway Signal’s Green Light; Rear-Ended Conductor Claims He Had Been Ordered to Stop on Tracks

Chinese Investigators Blame Wenzhou Accident on Faulty Railway Signal’s Green Light
Yomiuri Shimbun: 中国高速鉄道、信号「赤」に変わらない重大欠陥
Seiga Higa reporting from Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China 2:00 PM July 28, 2011

According to Xinhua News Agency, the government team investigating the July 23 high-speed rail accident in Wenzhou, Zhejiang had its first general meeting on the 28th. The team reported its initial analysis of the accident: “There was a major technical defect in a railway signal at Wenzhou South Station which caused the signal to malfunction when it was struck by lightning. Afterward, when it was supposed to turn red [because the first train had stopped some distance after the signal], it turned green instead.

When the following train saw the green light, it continued its advance, making the collision possible. The Chinese government also acknowledged the possibility of human error over and above the design failure. The railway signal system was installed in September 2009.

Internet users expressed doubts about the analysis and asked questions like “That’s the only conclusion after several days of investigation?” and “Why did the faulty signal also overwhelm accident prevention systems?”

Rear-Ended Chinese Conductor Claims He Had Been Ordered to Stop on Tracks
Yomiuri Shimbun: 追突された中国高速運転士「停車を指示された」
Seiga Higa reporting from Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China 8:44 AM July 28, 2011

The driver of the train struck from behind on July 23 in Wenzhou, China testified that “We should have been running, but I had been ordered to stop,” a magazine reported on the 27th.

The Internet news magazine South China Weekly reported a conversation between the driver and a passenger immediately after the accident. The official explanation of the accident is that a railway signal malfunctioned after it was struck by lightning. This report raises the possibility that the train stopped on the tracks could have been running, but it was stopped under the orders of a transportation supervisor.

These are the first reported words from a party involved in the accident. The report also raises the possibility that the train’s automatic control systems did not function because they were inadequate. The possibility of human error raises doubts that the truth is as simple as the official story.




(2011年7月28日14時02分 読売新聞)




(2011年7月28日08時44分 読売新聞)

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