Design flaw in signals led to bullet train crash: China

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Beijing: As China admitted on Thursday that design flaw in railway signal equipment had led to fatal collision of its bullet trains, Premier Wen Jiabao vowed to "severely punish" those responsible for the deadly crash.

"Without safety, the bullet trains will lose their credibility," Wen said on his visit to the site of the accident which left 39 killed and 192 injured.

"China`s high-speed trains will obtain global trust only when they are "really safe"," the premier said as he ordered a "swift, open and transparent" probe into July 23 crash.

The premier`s strong warnings came as head of the Shanghai Railway Bureau announced that the bullet trains, being introduced in China met with the accident after signal system was struck by lightning at the Wenzhou South Railway station following which it failed to turn the green light to red.

An Lusheng, head of the Shanghai Bureau, said the failure resulted in the rear-end collision.

The Premier said that the safety of the high-speed technology should be the priority for the railway officials.

Noting that the concerning departments will draw lessons from the accident, he urged them to improve work and management, as well as make breakthroughs in core technologies in a bid to ensure the safety of the country`s high-speed railways.

Wen also warned the railway officials to come out with honest answers about the reasons behind the crash to regain credibility of the agitated public.

The signal equipment was designed by a Beijing-based research and design institute and was put into use on September 28, 2009, a state-run Xinhua quoted An as saying.

This is the first time after the accident, the railways came out with an explanation. The accident revealed the railway sector`s vulnerabilities in safety infrastructure and management, An said.

The involved company, Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication, posted an apology on its website, expressing its condolences and regret to victims of the accident and their families.

Police has released the identities of all the 39 persons killed in the incident.

Also, all of the bodies retrieved from the crash site have been claimed by their relatives, police said.

Chinese government has announced five million Yuan compensation for the dead.

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