Xinhua News Agency

Subway Managers Sacked for crash

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 June, 2015, 4:12pm

Twelve people have been 'severely dealt with' in connection with last week's subway crash in Shanghai that injured almost 300 people.

Xinhua reported last night that three members of the Shanghai Metro management staff, who were in charge of Line 10's control centre at the time, have been fired.

The general manager of the subway operator was demoted as a result of an investigation that blamed the accident on human error and a failure to carry out risk assessments or follow safety procedures.

Seven of the remaining staff members - ranging from a shift worker to Shanghai Shentong Metro board chairman Ying Minghong, president Yu Guangyao and general manager of operations Shao Weizhong - have had warnings placed in their work records. Three of the warnings have been deemed 'major'.

The final individual implicated, a deputy conductor, has been transferred to another department and placed under supervision for a year.

The September 27 accident, which has angered a public still sensitive after the deadly Wenzhou high-speed-rail crash in July, has been described by Shanghai Metro as the 'darkest day' in the network's 16-year history.

The Xinhua report said that the independent investigation team found that last week's accident occurred in the aftermath of a power failure that knocked out the line's signalling system at Xintiandi station. The outage was caused by workers repairing cabling at the station without halting train operations.

No risk assessment had been carried out and no 'directed' safety measures had been taken.

As a result of the problem, there was a 'black spot' in the automated control systems, forcing operators to switch to manual controls and run a physical check on the locations of trains on the line.

The crash happened 39 minutes later when a train was ordered to restart from Yuyuan Garden station heading towards Laoximen, despite the fact that another train was stationary on that stretch of line.

The report said that the moving train was travelling at 54km/h when the driver saw there was another vehicle ahead. Although the driver braked immediately, the train was still travelling at 35km/h at the point of impact.

However, the investigators' report contains several significant contradictions of statements by the Shanghai municipal government.

The investigators said that the accident occurred at 2.37pm, almost a full quarter of an hour earlier than the time previously noted by the authorities as being the moment of impact.

Similarly, the time of the power failure that caused the signalling problem was revised forward by 12 minutes - from 2.10pm to 1.58pm - again without explanation.

It also adds 11 people to the number of injured, to 295 from the previously reported figure of 284. That earlier number was an increase of 13 over the first reported figure.

A Shanghai Health Bureau spokeswoman at the time said numbers had risen because some victims had gone home before going to the hospital.


The speed of the train when it crashed into another train that was stationary on the line