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Bullet train kills 18 workers in Shandong
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A high-speed train ran down a group of railway workers in east China's Shandong Province, leaving 18 dead and nine others injured, the Ministry of Railway said Friday.

The workers were relocating the tracks when the train ran into the work site at 8:48 p.m. on Wednesday in the Anqiu City of Shandong Province.

The injured had been hospitalized and were in a stable condition and the transportation of the railway had resumed after a short suspension, according to the ministry's office of publicity.

The railway track adjustment was planned to be carried out from 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday to 1:30 a.m. on Thursday and the trains passing by were asked to slow down their speed to 45 kilometers per hour from 9:00 p.m..

However, the workers from the China Railway 16th Group Co., Ltd, entered the work site ahead of schedule at 8:40 p.m. on Wednesday. The train, traveling from Beijing to Qingdao, a coastal city of Shandong, passed the work site at a speed of more than 120 kilometers per hour and caused the tragedy, according to the office.

Lu Chunfang, vice Railway minister, arrived at Anqiu to direct the rescue work and investigation into the accident.

(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2008)

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