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September 30, 2011

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Signal supplier denies Metro system at fault

The supplier of the signaling equipment on Shanghai's Metro has denied any responsibility for the Line 10 train crash on Tuesday that injured more than 280 passengers.

Casco Signal Ltd yesterday published a statement saying its system had "no relation with this train crash accident."

The announcement, in Chinese and English, came soon after the Metro authority, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, said that human error was to blame for the two-train collision.

"The Metro staff on duty that day failed to strictly comply with management regulation, which caused the accident," Shentong said on Wednesday, adding that the error happened after the system had been affected by a loss of power.

However, the Casco announcement failed to satisfy some observers as the signal company had been under fire over a series of signal glitches previously reported on the line.

"It just cannot be cleared of responsibility so fast," said a passenger in an online comment. "The problem led one thing to another."

And Luo Yanyun, a professor at Tongji University's Urban Mass Transit Railway Research Institute, said that "the signal problem might be a reason though not a direct one."

Bullet trains collided

Casco was held responsible for a two-train crash on Line 1 in December 2009. It's also the company that provided part of the equipment on the track where two bullet trains collided at Wenzhou on July 23, which killed 40 people.

Meanwhile, another six of the passengers injured in Tuesday's crash left hospital yesterday, while 89 people were still being treated for their injuries, Shanghai Health Bureau officials said. All 89 were in a stable condition.

At Changzheng Hospital, four patients in the intensive care unit will need to stay for one or two weeks, according to doctors. One is an 85-year-old woman who suffered slight injuries but had a previous heart condition. The other three suffered severe rib fractures, doctors said.

Yesterday was the first day of normal services on Line 10 since the accident and passenger volume was down about 20 percent, officials said.

Trains were running at lower speeds and waiting longer at stations.

Shentong said staff in key posts, such as drivers and dispatchers, had been doubled in number.

The crash was a hot topic online with many people offering tips on how to stay safe while traveling on the Metro.

Some posts said that passengers should take care to avoid riding in the front and rear coaches of trains so that they would be less likely to be injured in the event of a collision in the future.


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