BEIJING – A bullet train crashed into another high-speed train that had stalled after being struck by lightning in eastern China, causing four carriages to fall off a viaduct and killing at least 35 people and injuring 191 others, state media and an official said today.
It was the first derailment on China’s high-speed rail network since the country launched bullet trains in 2007 with a top speed of 155 miles per hour.
The first train was traveling south from the Zhejiang provincial capital of Hangzhou when it lost power in the lightning strike and was hit from behind by the second train in Wenzhou city Saturday, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The second train had left Beijing and both trains were destined for Fuzhou in eastern Fujian province.
The Ministry of Railways said the first four carriages of the moving train and the last two carriages of the stalled train derailed.
An official in the Zhejiang provincial emergency office told the Associated Press that 35 people had died, including one foreign female. He said her nationality was not clear. A further 191 people were being treated at hospitals, said the official, who gave only his surname, Hua, as is common with Chinese officials.