71 Die in a Train Crash in Shandong, China
The 2008 Shandong train collision (Chinese: “4·28”胶济铁路特别重大交通事故) was a major train collision that occurred on the morning of April 28, 2008, near the city of Zibo, in Shandong province, People's Republic of China.
The accident occurred on the Jiaoji Railway, which links the important cities of Qingdao and Jinan in Shandong province. With a death toll of 72 and 416 injuries, the collision was the deadliest rail accident in the People's Republic of China since a 1997 accident in Hunan.
The city of Zibo sent out 130 ambulance vehicles to the site of the accident and activated 34 medical stations. Some 700 medical personnel were on site. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao both released directives after the accident occurred, and sent Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang to oversee rescue and investigation efforts. Wang Jun, as head of the State Administration of Work Safety was named head of the investigation committee. Liu Zhijun, the Railways Minister, alongside Shandong party secretary Jiang Yikang and Governor Jiang Daming were also on-site.
China's Guangming Daily blamed the crash on "holes in the management of the Jiaoji Railway", stating that it is "highly unlikely" that two accidents can occur on the same railway three to four months apart. The Financial Times remarked that although the accident would be blamed on human error, it was likely that funding shortfalls played a role.
On May 26, 2009, the State Council issued the investigative report on the accident. A total of 37 people were found to be partly responsible for the accident. The executive vice-director of the Jinan Railway Bureau and six others faced criminal charges, and 31 other related personnel were accorded some sort of disciplinary action. Of these, Chen Gongxing, head of the Jinan Railway Bureau, was stripped of his posts; Chai Tiemin, the party chief of the Bureau, was also sacked.