29 Dec 2011

Blame issued for fatal train crash

12:12 pm on 29 December 2011

The Chinese government says a bullet train crash which killed 40 people in July was caused by design flaws and sloppy management.

Almost 200 people were injured in the crash near the south-eastern city of Wenzhou.

An official report says "missteps" by 54 officials led to the disaster.

The crash triggered a wave of popular anger against officials who were accused of trying to cover up the seriousness, and causes, of the crash.

Premier Wen Jiabao was presented with the official investigation's conclusions at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The BBC reports the crash occurred after one train stalled following a lightning strike and then a second high-speed train ran into it. Four carriages were thrown off a viaduct.

The report found that serious design flaws in control equipment and improper handling of the lightning strike led to the crash.

Among the officials singled out was former railways minister, Liu Zhijun, who was sacked before the crash, accused of corruption.

The report says he "has the main leadership responsibility for the accident".