Beijing: Metro collision leaves 100 people fractured

A rush-hour incident on the Beijing metro during the evening resulted in a rear-end collision on an above-ground track, leaving 102 individuals with fractures, according to state media reports. This is an unusual occurrence in the Chinese capital, which has been grappling with recent snowstorms causing operating challenges and widespread transport delays.

The accident took place just before 7 pm on Thursday when the last two cars of a metro train became disconnected from the preceding carriages. Emergency response efforts swiftly transported a total of 515 people to hospitals for examination, with 102 confirmed to have suffered fractures by 11 pm. By 6 am the following day, 423 individuals had been released from the hospital, while 67 were still receiving treatment and 25 were under observation. Fortunately, no fatalities were reported.

A preliminary investigation attributed the incident to the adverse weather conditions, specifically citing slippery tracks and signal degradation as contributing factors to the rear-end collision. Social media accounts from witnesses detailed passengers falling to the ground, some experiencing back pain. Visuals from the scene depicted commuters on the floor, with sporadic lighting failures, and instances of passengers attempting to use emergency hammers to break train windows for evacuation.

The incident unfolded on an above-ground section of track near Xi’erqi Station as the train headed towards Changping district in northern Beijing. The operator of the train, Beijing Subway, issued an apology on Weibo, expressing regret for the incident and assuring passengers that the cost of care would be covered for those who left the premises unaccompanied during the evacuation and were not feeling well. The response from emergency services, as well as the subsequent investigation, underscores the commitment to addressing the aftermath of the incident and preventing such occurrences in the future.

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