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Chinese rail officials bury trains and heads in the sand

  • Staff Reporter
  • 2011-07-27
  • 13:50 (GMT+8)
The wreckage of one of the carriages involved in Saturday's crash is dug up after being controversially buried and is removed for investigation. (Photo/Xinhua)

The wreckage of one of the carriages involved in Saturday's crash is dug up after being controversially buried and is removed for investigation. (Photo/Xinhua)

Chinese authorities on Tuesday (Jul 26) dug up the buried wreckage of the first car of a derailed train involved in Saturday's crash in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province.

On Sunday, the day after the accident, Chinese authorities used heavy machinery to destroy part of the crushed carriage and bury the wreckage, a move that has been criticized as an attempt to destroy evidence.

China's state-run Xinhua News Agency had reported Monday that the crash's death toll stood at 40, but corrected the figure to 39 early Tuesday. Anger and skepticism over the cause of the deadly collision has emerged on the internet since the burial of the train wreckage on Sunday.

Japanese experts considered the burial act "incredible" and said that if a similar incident were to occur in Japan, the government would spend weeks investigating and clarifying its causes before resuming train operations.

Chinese officials retorted the accusation, saying "the wreckage are all out there" and "there is nothing we can hide," according to Taiwan-based United Daily News.

According to Xinhua, the Chinese State Council has decided to take the carriages that fell from the elevated railway to Wenzhou West Station for investigation.

Still, Tuesday's work to conduct an inspection of the cars might well be too little, too late.

"In the eyes of the authorities, regular people will always be gullible 3-year-old children," Yan Youming wrote Tuesday on Sina Weibo, a microblogging service similar to Twitter, the Wall Street Journal said.

"When a country is corrupt to the point that a single lightning strike can cause a train crash, the passing of a truck can collapse a bridge, and drinking a few bags of milk powder can cause kidney stones, none of us are exempted," wrote one Weibo user after Saturday's accident. "China today is a train traveling through a lightning storm. None of us are spectators; all of us are passengers."

Chinese media reported that the government had reached a tentative agreement to give families of crash victims 500,000 yuan (US$77,550) each in compensation, but the government offered no major new information about the cause of the accident, the Wall Street Journal said.

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