Railway industry chief dies amid probe

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 August, 2011, 12:00am


The general manager of the mainland's major supplier of railway signalling equipment died on Monday at the height of a probe into last month's fatal high-speed train collision in Wenzhou, prompting speculation about his cause of death.

China Railway Signal and Communication Corporation released an obituary on its website yesterday saying that Ma Cheng died of a heart attack in Shenzhen during a safety inspection.

The company scheduled his funeral ceremony for today. Zhang Huilin, a senior manager at the company's Guangzhou branch said yesterday that Ma collapsed when inspecting safety measures at a project in Shenzhen.

Caixin Century magazine reported that Ma was accompanying State Council safety inspectors looking into the safety of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed rail line when the attack struck.

The government's preliminary investigation into the July 23 Wenzhou crash blamed a software design fault that made a signal turn from red to green after a lightning strike.

The collision killed at least 40 people and injured almost 200.

Another key railway figure, Kunming Railway Bureau director Wen Qingliang , also made headlines over the weekend with reports about his arrest for suspected corruption.

The Chuncheng Evening News reported yesterday that Wen was taken away by investigators at the end of last month. The report quoted unnamed sources as saying that Wen was arrested for his involvement in a corruption scandal when he was the executive director of the Taiyuan Railway Bureau in Shanxi, where officials took bribes over the shipment of coal to other provinces.