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This post was edited by pnp at 2017-12-7 15:23|
Yesterday, a very serious accident happened at a metro line, and it was pure luck that there was no death, only the driver was injured.
A huge concrete pile weighing several tons was driven into the tunnel of the line from a construction site above, right into the path of an oncoming train. The driver slammed on the brakes, but because the train was travelling at high speed it couldn't stop in time, crashing into the pile, before finally coming to a halt; the driver was badly injured. Had the pile punctured the tunnel roof a few seconds later, it would have gone straight into the first coach packed with morning rush hour commuters heading to work or heading for the airport. And, because the train was travelling fast, it would have dragged the other coaches along in a pile up, with disatrous consequences, undoubtedly with deaths and injuries.
The seriousness of this accident lies in the fact that it is not the first time such accidents had occured to Shenzhen Metro lines, this is the worst case. In the span of a year, several accidents of this nature, from irrepsonsible contractors above ground had ocurred; just a month ago, a contrator dug a hole right through the tunnel of another line, fortunately no train was passing by, but service was disrupted.
What's even more serious is that in all past accidents, according to press reports, no government department came forward to take responsibility; every official pushed the responsibility to other departments, resulting in no officials arrested and charged with dereliction of duty. The accident that happened a month ago is still 'under investigation', apparently because no official wants to be responsible. Passing the buck seems to be a common practice whenever accidents occur.
This sort of accidents can easily be prevented if the officials carry out their enforcement dutifully; the law forbids construction work within a certain distance from tunnels without approval from the Metro. Unlike road accidents which happen too suddenly to prevent, construction accidents can be prevented; sites are cleared, piles are set up on site, all over a period of time long enough for an alert enforcement official to check and prevent wrongdoings. Unfortunately no question was asked and officials only scrambled to action when accidents occurred.
Clearly, there is dereliction of duty, and those responsible for enforcement must be held to account.
Every commuter, and there are millions of them everyday, is at risk of being a victim in such accidents. Commuters' confidence in the rail system delivering them safely to their destinations is badly shaken, and it can only be restored if those responsible officials are charged with dereliction of duty!