China plans to suspend new railway project approvals and launch safety checks after a high-speed train crash last month.
China’s government has struggled to address public fury over the July 23 crash near the coastal city of Wenzhou that killed at least 40 people after one high-speed train apparently rammed into another one stranded on the track.
Premier Wen Jiabao told the state council, China’s cabinet, in a regular meeting that checks will be conducted on the quality of equipment, the design and staff training on existing high-speed projects and those under construction, according to state radio.
China should “appropriately reduce the average speed of new high-speed trains at their early stage of operation”, Wen said. He said a working group established by the state council will fully investigate the cause of the crash. He visited the site in late July and vowed a thorough and transparent investigation.
The railways ministry is still investigating the cause of the accident. It has ordered a two-month safety review of railway operations, though a Chinese railway research institute has taken responsibility for a flaw in signalling equipment as the cause of the crash.