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Beijing Subway Collision Leaves 102 Injured Amid Snowstorm Chaos

Fortunately, no deaths were reported.

In a shocking incident during rush hour, two subway trains in Beijing collided, resulting in 102 people sustaining broken bones and over 500 individuals being sent to hospitals. The collision occurred at around 19:00 local time (12:00 WAT) on Thursday on the Changping subway line, exacerbated by heavy snowfall.

The Beijing transport authorities reported that slippery tracks due to snow storms led to a “signal degradation,” causing the first train to brake suddenly. The following train, unable to brake in time on the icy tracks, collided with the rear of the first train, causing the last two carriages of one of the trains to detach. The specific train from which the carriages detached remains unclear.

As of Friday morning, 423 people have been discharged from hospitals, while 67 individuals remain hospitalised for treatment, and 25 are under observation. Fortunately, no deaths were reported.

Images and footage shared on Chinese social media revealed the chaotic aftermath, with commuters crowded in darkened carriages due to power cuts. Some passengers resorted to using emergency hammers to break windows for fresh air.

The incident has sparked outrage among Chinese netizens, with concerns raised about subway maintenance and routine inspections. A Weibo user questioned, “Does Beijing Subway have no maintenance staff? No routine inspection?… Are we taking the lives of hundreds of people too lightly.”

Beijing Subway, owned by the municipal government, operates 27 subway and rail lines across the city. The company issued an apology for the incident and pledged to cover the medical bills of those injured.

In response to the extreme weather conditions, the subway operator instructed that trains travelling above ground be operated in manual mode, and intervals between trains be widened. The affected section of the subway line, spanning three stations, was closed on Friday.

Snowfall has disrupted road, rail, and air transport in Beijing, and temperatures are expected to plummet across northern China in the coming days. Meteorological authorities have warned of an 8C to 12C temperature drop in most parts of the country, with Beijing potentially experiencing temperatures below -20C over the weekend. In some cities, authorities have taken measures such as school closures and the suspension of train services to cope with the adverse weather conditions.

Kiki Garba

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