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May 25, 2010

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Rail accident still causing disruption

SUNDAY'S fatal train accident in eastern China's Jiangxi Province continued to affect trains to and from the Shanghai South Railway Station yesterday while eight Shanghai passengers hurt in the accident were returning home to the city.

The Shanghai-Guilin train was hit by a landslide early Sunday, killing 19 passengers and injuring 71 others, 11 of them seriously.

Rail officials said the regular train timetable will resume within a week as the damaged track had been repaired by late Sunday.

Shanghai South Railway Station spokeswoman Wang Lushan said the situation "is getting better" despite the delays. "Unlike Sunday when everything was uncertain, we can now give passengers a rough timetable at least," she said.

Authorities said three train services - from Shanghai South to Huaihua in Hunan Province and Shenzhen and Guangzhou in Guangdong Province - were canceled and passengers had received a refund. Five or six trains faced long delays.

Long-distance buses were packed yesterday. Officials said all tickets to Guangzhou had been sold out.

But Shanghai South Long-Distance Bus Station officials said the bus station was not as busy as it was on Sunday.

The bus station, next to the railway station, added only one service yesterday compared with six on Sunday.

The bus station operates 16 services to Jiangxi Province, seven to Hunan Province and 10 to Hubei Province a day.

Meanwhile, a local tour agency said a tour group of 10 Shanghai tourists was on the derailed train, among whom eight were slightly injured and two were unharmed.

The injured were returning home yesterday, while the two not harmed continued on their trip to Guilin in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said Shanghai Yuping Travel Service Co Ltd.

The 10 had intended to visit Guilin for six days. Eight of them were sent to Yingtan Railway Hospital for medical treatment. The most seriously injured received four stitches in the head.

"All of them could move by themselves," said Cheng Li, general manager of the company. "They wanted to return home as soon as possible, so we arranged for them to go by train or by bus."

The company said all of the tourists in the tour group had bought accident insurance before the tour, so they would be compensated, but an amount has yet to be discussed.


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