Shanghai: Critics after the Subway Accident

The authorities are under fire from critics on Wednesday after the worst subway accident in 42 years, which has more than 270 injured in Shanghai and has revived the controversy over the safety of transport in China.

Only two months after the deadly collision between two high-speed trains in the east that killed 40 people, the collision between two subway trains Tuesday has raised fears of the plans for rampant construction of railway lines China in disregard of safety. The investigation team dispatched to the location of the collision on Wednesday was still trying to determine the causes of this accident.

The Global Times, which reports to the People newspaper of the Communist Party, commented that the quest for speed should not come at the expense of safety. “The tragedies in Wenzhou and Shanghai remind everyone that China can not afford to fail,” says the newspaper.

Shanghai has the appearance of a developed city but accidents such as this collision and fire last November (which claimed 53 deaths) show that this is still a city in development. According to official media, the collision was caused by a fault signal that forced the staff to deal with the traffic of trains by phone.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, the signaling system used on the metro line 10, on which the accident occurred, was developed by the company Casco Signal Ltd., a joint venture between the China Railway Signal and Communication Corp. and the French company Alstom, which provides the signaling systems of many Chinese subways.

Line 10 was opened only a year ago. According to Xinhua, two failures have been recorded over the last two months. Wednesday, sections of the line were closed but the other lines were functioning normally. The Shanghai Metro, with eleven lines over a total distance of 400km high speed line, is booming. After the collision in July, the government announced the suspension of any approval of a new railway project and ordered security checks for existing equipment.