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CHINA: Human error caused Shanghai subway crash

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REPORTING FROM BEIJING -- Human error was responsible for a subway crash in Shanghai last week that injured more than 290 people, and 12 people have been punished, the official New China News Agency reported.

Government investigators dismissed the chief dispatcher of Shanghai Metro’s Line 10, the route on which the accident occurred, and reprimanded 11 other managers and workers in the operation-control and power sections, the news service reported. Punishments ranged from sackings to demotions.

The accident, in which one train hit another, was caused by a signal system failure on the afternoon of Sept. 27. Line 10 is the newest route in Shanghai’s rapidly expanding subway system and has been beset by problems since its opening.

The New China News Agency also reported that 70 people remain hospitalized after the crash.

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This is the second such crash caused by faulty signal systems in recent months. In July, two high-speed trains collided on a viaduct near Wenzhou in southern China, killing 40 people and injuring more than 210.

The government’s handling of that accident sparked outrage among citizens, with many accusing officials of a cover-up. An official report on that crash has yet to be released.

China’s double-digit economic growth in recent years has been fueled by large infrastructure projects. Currently, 14 cities in China operate subway systems, with 16 more set to open by the end of 2015.

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-- Benjamin Haas


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