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German Experts Join Investigation into Shanghai Maglev Fire
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Transrapid International (TRI), the German technical provider for the Shanghai maglev train, has sent a team of experts to join their Chinese counterparts to help pinpoint the cause of last Friday's maglev fire, a Chinese company official said yesterday.


"Maintenance will be carried out on the magnetic levitation (maglev) train once the cause is determined," said Xia Guozhong, director of the Shanghai Maglev Transportation Development Company (SMTDC), the operator of the maglev.


The German-built maglev, operating around China's business hub of Shanghai, caught fire at around 3 PM last Friday with no injuries resulting from the incident. 


The train had just pulled out of Longyang Road Station and was heading toward Pudong International Airport when smoke was reported in the second carriage. Firefighters raced to the scene, safely evacuating the passengers.


The maglev train affected is staying at an emergency stop, around one kilometer away from the Longyang Road Station, awaiting the completion of checks by firefighters and experts.


Xia added that given the minimal nature of the damage done, the running of the other maglev trains would remain smooth.


The 30-kilometer-long maglev line first started on December 31, 2002, when former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and former Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji enjoyed its maiden voyage.


(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2006)


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