Two coaches of a bullet train derail in SW China due to mudslide; driver died
Published: Jun 04, 2022 12:51 PM


Two coaches of D2809, a bullet train from Guiyang, Southwest China's Guizhou Province, to Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province, derailed at a tunnel entrance of Rongjiang station in Guizhou due to a mudslide that intruded into the rail track at 10:30 am on Saturday, leading to the death of the driver.

One car attendant and seven passengers sustained non-life threatening injuries, and have received proper treatment, said a post on the official Weibo account of Southwest Railway, owned by the Chengdu Bureau of China Railway.

The 7th and 8th coaches of the train derailed at Yuezhai tunnel entrance. Photos posted by Southwest Railway showed that the train head is severally damaged. According to videos posted online by passengers, the train had emergently braked when the accident happened, and passengers felt huge impacts. Electricity at the train was cut off after the accident.

All injured people were sent to the local hospital, and the other 136 passengers have been transferred and excavated. The on-site rescue work is in full swing, and the cause of the accident is under investigation.

The local firefighter rescue team has sent 11 vehicles with 52 personnel to the site for rescue work in the first time, according to a post on the official Weibo account of Guizhou Firefight. China Railway also sent teams to the site for rescue work.

The driver, who unfortunately died during the accident, spotted an abnormal rail track when the bullet train ran through Yuezhai tunnel, and quickly instituted emergency braking measures in five seconds that only made the train slide over 900 meters, China Railway said on Saturday, after analyzing on-board data.

The against-hit wall of the high-speed railway and the tunnel structure have prevented the train from falling and overturning, according to China Railway.

The local hospital said that 12 injured passengers have been hospitalized as of 2pm, with some hurt in their heads and shoulders, news website reported. Another two passengers are being rescued in ICU.

A local official at Yuezhai said that the places where the accident happened have never experienced mudslide before. The report quoted the official as saying that mud from an expressway above the Yuezhai tunnel, which is under construction, slid due to rains and "submerged" the rail track within 2 or 3 minutes.

Due to the impact of the train accident, all bullet trains from Guiyang North station to Guangzhou have been suspended, while bullet trains from Guangzhou to Guiyang all are delayed at stops.

China Railway said its Chengdu bureau should organize emergency rescue and reopen the rail line as soon as possible.

The D2809 train is run by CRH2A Harmony high-speed bullet train. It has eight coaches, and the designed passenger capacity is 613 people. In usual cases, the train departs from Guiyang North Station at 9 am and is expected to arrive at Guangzhou South station at 2:34 pm. The train passes by but does not stop at Rongjiang Station.

Rongjiang station is located at Guizhou's Rongjiang county, and is a third-class station managed by the Chengdu Bureau of China Railway. Construction of the station began in December 2013, and was put into trial operation in August 2014. The station officially began service on December 26, 2014, the China Infrastructure News reported.

Global Times