Derailment in China; at least nineteen dead

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

A train in China has derailed after hitting damaged tracks as it traveled between Shanghai and Guilin, a tourist destination in southeast China.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Railways, the accident occurred at around 0210 local time (1810 UTC) when the train hit a section of track that had been damaged by a mudslide. The derailment killed at least nineteen, and an additional 71 people were injured. Eleven of the injured have been seriously wounded.

The rescue operation cleared the tracks of both the derailed train and around 8,000 cubic meters of debris from the mudslide. An estimated 2,000 people took part in the rescue effort.

The accident has closed the line on which it occurred between Shanghai and the city of Kunming. Limited southbound traffic is expected to resume at around 2000 local time (1200 UTC), with full operation possibly restored by midnight (1600 UTC).