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China Trains Delayed on Possible Signal Problems, Post Reports

Several high-speed trains in China were delayed yesterday because of possible signal problems, Shanghai Morning Post reported, citing an unidentified person at the Railways Ministry, more than a week after at least 40 people were killed in a railway crash.

At least three trains linking Shanghai and the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing were halted for about half an hour because of signal problems, the newspaper reported today. Services for the Ningbo-Wenzhou line, which had the July 23 fatal crash, were also halted for more than three hours for “temporary equipment maintenance,” according to the report.

The collision last month near the southeastern China’s Wenzhou city was probably caused by a design flaw in a signaling system, state-run Xinhua News Agency said last week, citing a preliminary investigation by the Shanghai Railway Bureau. China has fixed a software error in a signal system that caused the crash, People’s Daily reported in its overseas edition yesterday, citing an unidentified Ministry of Railways official.

At least six calls made today to Wang Yongping, a spokesman for the ministry, weren’t answered.

In the crash, a bullet train that stopped after a lightning strike was rear-ended by another locomotive, pushing four coaches off a viaduct. The accident also injured 191 people.

Premier Wen Jiabao pledged a greater focus on rail safety and a “transparent” investigation into the accident after visiting the crash site. The results of the investigation may be released around mid-September, according to a Xinhua report.

The government fired three officials following the crash and started a two-month review of railway safety.

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