Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shanghai subway crash: Media question safety standards

Lapses which may have led to a crash on Shanghai's subway system have been criticised in Chinese state media.

The crash on Tuesday, which injured 284 people, happened when subway staff were directing trains using phones after the signal system failed.

"China should be more cautious and concentrated in avoiding risks," said the English-language Global Times in an editorial.

The crash comes months a train crash near Wenzhou city killed 40 people.

That sparked a wave of criticism - including in some state-media outlets - which suggested that Chinese authorities' thirst for development was putting safety at risk.

Tuesday's crash occurred at about 14:51 local time (06:51 GMT) following a signal system failure at a subway station on Line 10, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group said.

That failure meant staff were directing trains by phone and the trains were running at slower than usual speeds, it said.

The subway train stopped and started before rear-ending another train near Shanghai's Yuyuan Garden.

"I was stunned, not knowing what happened. We tried to open doors and windows but couldn't. I felt smoke in the car," a passenger said shortly after being rescued from the train, Xinhua reported.