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China: Over 500 passengers injured as two subway trains collide in Beijing, no casualties reported

Slippery train tracks due to the snow prompted automatic braking on the leading train. However, the train following behind on a descending line was unable to apply brakes in time and collided with the other train, injuring hundreds of passengers, some with broken bones.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Beijing Published on: December 15, 2023 14:48 IST
China is experiencing unusually heavy snowfall this week.
Image Source : AP/REPRESENTATIVE China is experiencing unusually heavy snowfall this week.

More than 500 people were injured after two subway trains collided amid heavy snowfall in the Chinese capital on Thursday, according to authorities. Out of the 515 injured, 102 people have been hospitalised with broken bones, although no casualties have been reported so far.

The accident occurred in a mountainous area in Beijing on an above-ground portion of the sprawling subway system's Changping line. Slippery tracks due to the snow prompted automatic braking on the leading train. However, the train following behind on a descending line was unable to apply brakes in time and crashed into the other train, as per the city transport authority.

All passengers were evacuated by 11 pm as emergency medical personnel, police and transport authorities responded to the situation. At least 25 passengers were under observation and 67 remained hospitalised as of Friday morning, said the city transport authority.

Meanwhile, train operations were suspended and some schools were closed in China due to unusually heavy snowfall. Earlier, the China Meteorological Administration forecast accumulation of 5 to 15 centimeters for a swath of provinces south and west of Beijing, and said it could reach 20 centimeters (8 inches) in some places.

Over 100 sections of highways and other roads were closed in about half a dozen provinces, most of them in Shanxi province, a coal-mining region near Beijing. Alerts remain in place for icy roads, extreme cold and further snowfall. Temperatures were due to fall to minus 11 degrees Celsius overnight.

No fatalities have been reported from the winter storms that have struck a wide swath of northern China. Beijing's winters tend to be bitterly cold, but heavy snowfall is rare.

(with AP inputs)

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