HONG KONG — A train attendant was killed and eight people injured after a bullet train derailed in southern China on Saturday after hitting a patch of mud blocking the tracks, state broadcaster China Central Television reported.
The train derailed around 10:30 am on Saturday as it was approaching Rongjiang Railway Station, some 120 miles southeast of Guiyang, the capital of mountainous Guizhou Province and the train’s departure point, CCTV reported.
CCTV said two carriages derailed after the train struck a rock and debris debris on the tracks. A photo released by the Guizhou Fire Department showed severe damage to parts of the train.
The injured passengers were taken to a hospital in Rongjiang as local authorities dispatched a fire and rescue team to the scene, CCTV said. A train attendant died in hospital, while the injuries to the other eight victims — one train crew member and seven passengers — were believed to be non-life-threatening. The remaining 136 passengers were evacuated and transported to another station, CCTV reported. Authorities said they were investigating the crash.
Heavy rains are known to frequently cause landslides in the region, especially in summer. Guizhou’s Emergency Management Department reported heavy rains in 12 counties in recent days. China’s national weather agency issued a yellow signal Friday night, warning of thunderstorms and heavy rain in the area where the train derailed.
Connecting Guiyang and Guangzhou, the capital of wealthy southern province of Guangdong, the D2809 train is part of China’s extensive and much-vaunted high-speed rail network, a source of national pride with more than 23,000 miles of railway track connecting major cities and remote counties throughout Country.
The accident was followed by a far more fatal one in March at a China Eastern Airlines corp
Plane crashed in the mountains of southern China. Like the train that crashed on Saturday, the plane was scheduled to fly to Guangzhou. It crashed in Wuzhou, southern China, not far from the train route, killing all 132 people on board.
The accidents come ahead of a closely watched Chinese Communist Party congress where leader Xi Jinping is expected to break recent precedent and secure a third term in office. Attempts by the authorities to ensure stability in a politically sensitive year have been tested by widespread Covid outbreaks and a sluggish economy.
—Xiao Xiao contributed to this article.
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