Bullet trains recalled in China after fatal crash

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The Independent Online

China's second-biggest train maker will recall 54 bullet trains used on the new showcase Beijing-Shanghai line for safety reasons, the firm said yesterday, dealing a fresh blow to China's scandal-plagued railways.

The recall of the trains by China CNR Corp Ltd comes three weeks after 40 people were killed in a high-speed rail crash that triggered public fury, unusually bold media coverage and a freeze on approvals for new railway projects.

Officials blamed July's crash first on a lightning strike and then on faulty signals technology. But yesterday Chinese media quoted a senior investigator as saying the crash also exposed management failings and could have been avoided.

"There were serious flaws in the system design that led to an equipment failure," said Luo Lin, the minister of China's State Administration of Work Safety, who is leading the probe into the crash.

"At the same time, this exposed problems in emergency response and safety management after the failure occurred," the Beijing Times newspaper reported Luo as saying.

"This was a major accident involving culpability that could have been totally avoided," Luo added.

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