At least 32 people died when a high-speed train smashed into a stalled train in China's eastern Zhejiang province Saturday, state media said, raising new questions about the safety of the fast-growing rail network.
The accident occurred on a bridge near the city of Wenzhou after the first train lost power due to a lightning strike and a bullet train following behind crashed into it, state television said.
The total power failure rendered useless an electronic safety system designed to warn following trains of stalled trains on the tracks up ahead, and automatically halt them before a collision can occur, the report added.
It showed one or possibly two carriages on the ground under the bridge, with another hanging above it. Several other carriages derailed in the accident near Wenzhou, some 860 miles south of Beijing.
More than 200 people have been hospitalized, the official Xinhua news agency added.
One train was heading from Beijing to the coastal city of Fuzhou, the other was running from Zhejiang provincial capital Hangzhou, also to Fuzhou.
"The train suddenly shook violently, casting luggage all around," Xinhua quoted survivor Liu Hongtao as saying.
State television broadcast appeals for people not involved in the rescue effort to stay away, saying they were hampering efforts to get survivors out of the wrecked carriages and to hospital.