Update: it appears that the crash was the result of two bullet trains colliding. From Reuters: "At least 11 people have died after two high-speed
trains crashed into each other in China's eastern province of Zhejiang
on Saturday, causing two carriages to fall off a bridge, state news
agency Xinhua said."
It was only a matter of time before China's pursuit of infrastructure perfection for the sake of merely recycling trade surplus dollars ended up in casualties. And while its now innumerable ghost cities are unlikely to hurt anyone since they are, well, vacant, the same can not be said about its infrastructure. Earlier today, China's D-Train, a first generation of its bullet train, travelling the Hangzhou to Wenzhou route derailed, with two of its carriages falling off a bridge. The precise number of casualties is as of this moment unknown, although the latest report from Reuters is of 11 killed and 89 injured. We expect the number to be far higher in the end. Just like in the US where none of the massive infrastructure spending as part of ARRA actually went to infrastructure, so China is about to realize that mixing unprecedented corruption and ultra high speeds usually results in very catastrophic consequences.
From the Telegraph:
The train, travelling from Hangzhou to Wenzhou, went off the rails in eastern China's Zhejiang province around 8:30pm (1230 GMT), it reported, citing local firefighting sources.
The D train represents China's first-generation bullet trains. Running on regular track, they are capable of travelling at 150kph and are not part of the new high-speed network.
China is spending billions on building a high-speed rail network, with Premier Wen Jiabao on June 30 formally opening a flagship $33 billion line from Beijing to Shanghai.
That line has suffered problems with delays caused by power outages, sparking a slew of criticism online and in Chinese media.
The huge investment has made the sector a hotbed for corruption. China's state auditor has said construction companies and individuals last year siphoned off 187 million yuan ($29 million) from the Beijing-Shanghai project.