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Making trains fast and safe
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We sincerely hope the potential risks of accidents can be eliminated and the management in the railways sector be improved, says an article in Beijing News. The following is an excerpt:

Two passenger trains collided in Shandong province on Monday 28, killing at least 70 people and leaving some 400 others injured. Officials said the accident was caused by "human errors" and ruled out terrorism.

Faced with the accident, relevant departments have many things to do. But what are the most urgent of all? I think they should first of all properly handle the aftermath of an accident.

The injured should receive medical treatment, the panic-stricken passengers should be consoled, the families of the dead should get compensation and the railway transportation affected by the accident should be reopened as soon as possible.

Second, the government should seriously check into the accident and punish those responsible for it.

Since the accident is caused by human errors, the people involved should be held accountable for it. Only when they receive due punishment can similar accidents be prevented. If the fixing of responsibility is not timely, open and thorough, it will be hard for the public to trust the railway system, for no one knows whether the root causes of similar accidents are eradicated and whether related railway workers have drawn enough lessons from the previous tragedy.

Third, we should improve the management of the railway system while raising the speed of trains.

The speed of trains is increased and the length of railway networks expanded in accordance with the development of national economy. The adding or adjusting of railway routes has increased in recent years, and that raises potential risks of accidents. Trains can be operated safely and the passengers can feel the safety only when the management of the railway system is improved along with the raising of the trains' speed.

(China Daily April 30, 2008)

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