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Toddler found alive in rubble of China train crash

BEIJING (AP) -- A toddler was rescued about 21 hours after a crash involving two high-speed trains in eastern China killed at least 35 people and injured more than 190 others, state media reported.

Rescuers carry an injured child to sent her to a hospital at the site where a high-speed train crash occurred in Wenzhou, east China's Zhejiang province, on Sunday. (AP-Yonhap News)
Rescuers carry an injured child to sent her to a hospital at the site where a high-speed train crash occurred in Wenzhou, east China's Zhejiang province, on Sunday. (AP-Yonhap News)


Xinhua News Agency said the unconscious child was found early Sunday evening while rescuers were clearing one of the train cars just as the cleanup efforts were almost completed. It cited an unnamed firefighter in its report Sunday.

The China Daily newspaper said Monday that the child was a 2-year-old girl, Xiang Weiyi, who suffered no apparent injuries after being trapped in the last carriage of the train, which had stalled and was hit from behind by the second train.

The newspaper quoted the girl's uncle as saying she had been traveling with her parents and that he did not know if they had survived.

A bullet train was traveling south from the Zhejiang provincial capital of Hangzhou on Saturday evening when it lost power in a lightning strike and stalled, before being hit from behind by the second train in Wenzhou city.

A total of 35 people were killed and 192 injured as of Sunday night, Xinhua reported, citing the Ministry of Railways.

Two foreigners were among the dead but their nationalities were unclear, said an official surnamed Wang in the Zhejiang provincial emergency office.

The first four cars of the moving train fell about 20 to 30 meters off the viaduct onto the ground below. One carriage ended up in a vertical position, leaning against the viaduct.

The Ministry of Railways said in a statement that the first four cars of the moving train and the last two of the stalled train derailed.

Three railway officials were fired after the crash and will be subject to investigation, Xinhua quoted the ministry as saying. They were identified as Long Jing, head of the Shanghai Railway Bureau; Li Jia, head of the Shanghai railway bureau's committee of the Communist Party of China; and the deputy chief of the bureau, He Shengli.

It was the first derailment on China's high-speed rail network since the country launched bullet trains with a top speed of 250 kilometers per hour in 2007, the China Daily reported.

It is an embarrassment for China, which plans to massively expand its bullet train network to link its far-flung regions and show off its rising wealth and technological prowess. It is also trying to sell its trains to Latin America and the Middle East.

Last month, it launched to great fanfare the Beijing-to-Shanghai high-speed line, where trains travel at a maximum speed of 300 kilometers per hour. The speed was cut from the originally planned 350 kph after questions were raised about safety.

In less than four weeks of operation, power outages and other malfunctions have plagued the showcase 1,318-kilometer line. The Railways Ministry has apologized for the problems and said that summer thunderstorms and winds were the cause in some cases.

The second train involved in the crash came from Beijing and both trains were destined for Fuzhou in eastern Fujian province. Wang, who gave only his surname, as is common with Chinese officials, said it was unclear how long the first train had sat on the track before being struck. State broadcaster CCTV said there were more than 900 passengers on the train that stalled, and more than 500 passengers on the train that hit it.

Early Sunday, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao called for an all-out effort to rescue passengers still trapped in the wreckage hours after the collision.

It was China's worst train accident since April 2008, when a train traveling from Beijing to the eastern coastal city of Qingdao derailed and crashed into another train, leaving 72 people dead and another 416 injured.

Official plans call for China's bullet train network to expand to 13,000 kilometers of track this year and 16,000 kilometers by 2020.

China's trains are based on Japanese, French and German technology, but the manufacturers are trying to sell to Latin America and the Middle East. That has prompted complaints that Beijing is violating the spirit of licenses with foreign providers by reselling technology that was meant to be used only in China.

The huge spending connected with the rail expansion also has been blamed for corruption. Railways Minister Liu Zhijun was dismissed this spring amid an investigation into unspecified corruption allegations.

No details have been released about the allegations against him, but news reports say they include kickbacks, bribes, illegal contracts and sexual liaisons.

 

<한글 뉴스>

中 열차사고 21시간 만에 2세 여아 구출

가장 크게 부서진 D301호 첫번째 객차 탑승

중국의 고속열차 추락사고 발생 21시간 만 에 두 살 반된 여자 아이가 구출됐다.

반관영 통신인 중국신문사의 25일 보도에 따르면 전날 오후 5시40분(이하 현지

시각) 저장(浙江)성 원저우(溫州)시 솽위(雙嶼)에서 추락한 고속열차 객차 잔해의 중간 좌석 부분에서 2.5세의 여아 샹웨이이가 발견됐다.

지난 23일 오후 8시34분(현지시각) 앞서 가던 D(둥처•動車)3115호가 벼락을 맞고 멈춰선 후 뒤따라오던 D301호에 추돌돼 8량의 객차가 탈선하고 4량의 객차가 15m 높이의 고가다리 아래로 추락하는 사고가 발생한 후 21시간 만에 구조된 것이다.

원저우 출생인 이 아이는 왼쪽 다리를 심하게 다쳐 인근 병원으로 옮겨져 치료를 받고 있으나 부모의 생사는 확인되지 않고 있다.

그의 친척은 샹 양이 부모와 함께 항저우(杭州)를 출발해 원저우로 돌아오고 있었다고 전했다.

생존자들은 추돌사고 당시 충격이 너무 커 대규모 지진이 발생한 것으로 생각했고 중국 철도부가 빠른 사고 수습을 위해 인명구조 활동의 종결을 선언한 상황이어서 샹 양의 생환은 기적이라는 평가를 받고 있다.

또 샹 양은 이번 사고로 가장 크게 부서진 D301호의 첫번째 객차에 타고 있었던 것으로 확인됐다.

이번 고속열차 사고로 인한 사망자는 전날 오후까지 외국인 2명을 포함해 43명으로 늘었으며 부상자는 외국인 3명을 포함해 211명으로 확대됐다. 한국인 피해자는 없는 것으로 확인됐다. (연합뉴스)

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