Train breaks apart amidst bad snowy weather in Beijing leaves 500 injured (video)

Photo courtesy of BBC News

A collision between two subway trains on Beijing‘s Changping line on December 14 has left over 500 commuters hospitalised, with a staggering 102 suffering from broken bones.

The incident, occurring at 7pm local time (6pm Thailand time) amidst heavy snowfall, has sparked public outcry and raised questions about the city’s preparedness for extreme weather conditions.

According to reports by China Daily, slippery tracks resulting from the snowstorm caused a signal degradation. This, in turn, forced the first train to brake suddenly, leaving the following train unable to halt in time on the icy tracks, resulting in a forceful collision. The impact was so severe that the last two carriages of one of the trains detached, leaving commuters trapped in the dark, with some resorting to emergency hammers to break windows for fresh air.

The aftermath, captured in images and videos circulating online, paints a chaotic scene with commuters grappling with the aftermath of the accident. A total of 67 people remain hospitalised for treatment, with an additional 25 under observation, though fortunately, no fatalities have been reported.

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Chinese netizens expressed their fury and concern over the incident, with some questioning the adequacy of maintenance and routine inspections on Beijing’s extensive subway network. A Weibo user questioned authorities’ handling of the situation.

“Does Beijing Subway have no maintenance staff? No routine inspection?… Are we taking the lives of hundreds of people too lightly.”

Official apology

Beijing Subway, owned by the municipal government, issued an apology for the incident and pledged to cover the medical bills of those injured. In response to the current extreme weather conditions, the operator has mandated manual mode for trains above ground and widened intervals between trains. The affected section of the subway line, spanning three stations, was closed yesterday, December 15, reported BBC News.

The incident adds to the chaos caused by the ongoing snowfall in Beijing, disrupting road, rail, and air transport. As temperatures are expected to plummet across northern China, authorities are grappling with the challenge of ensuring public safety amid the adverse weather conditions. Meteorological authorities have issued warnings of an 8 to 12-degree Celsius temperature drop in most parts of the country, potentially pushing Beijing’s temperature below -20C over the weekend. In some cities, schools have been closed, and train services suspended as the nation braces for the bone-chilling cold ahead.

China NewsThailand News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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