Train Collision in Shandong

The train collision near Jinan killed 71, and injured 416.

Little flower for the victim in the accident

That is too bad. Not to mention those who were killed, I am horrified by the news story of a young man who broke his own arm to be able to escape from the train cart.

When I talked about risk of altitude sickness in Tibet, but to be fair, the risk of living anywhere in China is also high. I don’t want to count the long list of big accident country wide in the past, just to name a few that seems close to me:

A gas station near my home may exploded, killing 4, and injuring 40.

Maglev, which I am both a big fan of in terms of technology, and am writing against it for its cost, can catch fire.

The Metro train also kills. Not only this time, it happened once again, again and again.

If I keep counting the experience I had before I started blogging in 2002, I also can list some terrible accidents I feel very close to:

At the Christmas eve of 2000, fire in my home town, Luoyang, killed 309 – a number till now I cannot believe. When I was in middle school, that shopping center is the closest and the biggest in the area of my high-school.

In the summer of 1993 (July 10, 1993), just one day before I took train from Luoyang to Beijing to visit the capital for the first time, a passenger train No. 163 from Beijing to our direction collapsed with the cargo train in the front, killing 40 people (again, most of them comes from my city). I remember the sad face of the crew of my train after they hear about the news.

These are just few accidents that I feel pretty close to me. There are much more than that in the whole country, not to mention the frequent airlines disaster.

Transportation is a big thing everywhere, but how can I be assured that I am still lucky enough in the next accident? The key question is, who cares after so many accidents happening everywhere? Most of them are because of very stupid mistakes that are so easy to prevent.

I complained about sense of safety in the cyberspace (website can be easily shutdown at any time), it seems we need to move our focus to the safety of lives also.

The country needs some change to make it better. I keep thinking about it….

7 thoughts on “Train Collision in Shandong

  1. It’s very sad when major disasters happen, no matter where in the world they occur. Seems like no matter how hard we try, there’s always a war going on, or a famine, or a flood or tornado or earthquake or hurricane. Natural disasters are one thing, and we can’t do much about them. But war, and acts of terrorism, and human error or faulty mechanics causing things like plane crashes and derailments like this one…we humans just don’t quite seem to have all the way figured out how to go about this business of living without problems yet.

    I like the little flower you made, Jian Shuo — one small remembrance for those who died today.

  2. I remember a lot talk about the Chinese economy runs like a fast train, and it can not stop, and it has potential to run out of control.

    The train speed has been raised tremendously in last 15 to 20 years. I remember when I went to school from Ningbo to Shanghai in early 1990s, it took more than 8 hours for the “super fast” (te kuai) train. The potential risk of faster speed is also enormous, so the key is to improve the speed while control the risk.

    A remote anaology is the rapid developing/changing western financial market, who would like a portion of the US home mortgage (sub-prime loans) will spill over to the whole world in a year? At least Green Span did not think about it couple years ago.

  3. When I produced my hard hat and wore it, my Chinese boss looked at me sarcastically and told me that a hard hat would not be able to save my life in a construction area.

  4. The investigation of the cause of the tragedy is tragedy in itself.

    Within a few hours of the accident, the official news (or government mouth piece) suggested old and dilapidated rail line;

    Then, the government cites speeding as the reason;

    Then the government blames the local railway officials for not sending slow-down notices in a timely manner;

    Then the premier requests a thorough investigation.

    Things are really fishy there. (Obviously the deceasd train driver is not a rookie and he is the frequent driver on this rail line. But the dead man has no chance to tell his story NOW!) Without independent and outside investigation, we may never know the true cause of the tragedy and the following suggested reason will surely be denied by the government soon.

    The unraveling of this (so-called Holy) Olympic terror which has turned so many innocent lives upside down is such a tragedy to behold.

  5. I think accidents in coal mines is also a big concern in china. I heared many in recent times

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