Xinhua News Agency

Train kills 9 villagers on bridge

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 June, 2015, 4:12pm

Nine villagers died after being struck by a cargo train yesterday morning as they walked along a railway bridge near the port city of Qinhuangdao , Hebei province, Xinhua reported.

The number of people injured is unclear, as Xinhua and CCTV placed it at four, while said six suffered serious injuries and eight were slightly hurt.

The cargo train reportedly tried to brake but failed to do so in time, the Ministry of Railways said.

A villager from nearby Taiying township said some were killed on impact, while others were knocked off the 15-metre-high bridge.

The victims apparently chose to walk on the bridge because a parallel bridge that connected to their work places had become inaccessible after persistent rains and floods along the Miwu River.

Meanwhile, the integrity of a bridge for pedestrians and cars, which has not been properly maintained for years, has also raised safety concerns.

Recent extreme weather and the ensuing landslides had caused delays to 11 trains passing the city, Xinhua reported yesterday. Officials also found a coal pile had collapsed at the port, blocking a transport link.

The railway where the tragedy occurred is a main trunk line connecting the coastal city to Datong , Shanxi province, and is regarded as indispensable for the nation's coal transportation.

'A lack of management to prevent train accidents has become a major concern,' China Business News cited a railways official as saying.