South Korea’s bul­let train de­rails amid cold weather con­di­tions

The Borneo Post - - WORLD - — Ber­nama

SEOUL: A KTX bul­let train en route to Seoul de­railed shortly af­ter de­part­ing from the north­east­ern city of Gangne­ung with 198 pas­sen­gers aboard yes­ter­day, the op­er­a­tor said, claim­ing that ex­tremely cold weather ap­par­ently af­fected the rail, Yon­hap news agency re­ported.

An of­fi­cial from the Korea Rail­road Corp. (KORAIL), said the train left the city, lo­cated 237 kilo­me­tres east of Seoul, and de­railed while ap­proach­ing Jinbu Sta­tion at around 7.35am.

The train went off the tracks only around five min­utes af­ter de­part­ing, pas­sen­gers said.

It was run­ning at around 103 kph. An of­fi­cial from Korail said it is as­sumed that a sharp de­crease in tem­per­a­ture had an ad­verse im­pact on the rail con­di­tions.

“Korail has been mak­ing in­spec­tions on the road to pre­pare for win­ter.

Still, if the tem­per­a­ture fell sharply, we can as­sume that it may have af­fected the road,” Oh Young-sik, the head of Korail, said.

“We are now car­ry­ing out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Oh added, claim­ing the de­tailed cause of the ac­ci­dent will be stud­ied with the Min­istry of Land, In­fra­struc­ture and Trans­port.

An of­fi­cial from the min­istry also said it can­not come to a con­clu­sion at the cur­rent stage of in­ves­ti­ga­tion, adding it is cur­rently fo­cus­ing on nor­mal­is­ing the track.

All of the train’s 10 cars went off the tracks due to a yet-tobe-de­ter­mined rea­son, with Korail say­ing it is car­ry­ing out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

No se­ri­ous ca­su­al­ties were re­ported.

Four­teen pas­sen­gers suf­fer­ing from mi­nor in­juries were trans­ferred to nearby hos­pi­tals.

The pas­sen­gers were trans­ferred to other sta­tions by buses.

“I was trav­el­ling from Gangne­ung to PyeongChang in the sixth car.

But shortly af­ter the train de­parted, it went off the tracks with a thud,” a 22-year-old pas­sen­ger said.

“It was as if the train slid for around 50 me­tres, and I could hear the train drag­ging peb­bles with a metal­lic sound.” The pas­sen­ger said peo­ple were hang­ing on to their chairs, with some in­jured peo­ple scream­ing dur­ing the ac­ci­dent.

“Even af­ter we got off the train, we had to wait around 50 min­utes out­side,” the pas­sen­ger added.

“I saw an old lady bleed­ing from her head.” It was the first ma­jor ac­ci­dent on the rail con­nect­ing Seoul and Gangne­ung, which kicked off Dec 22, 2017, ahead of the PyeongChang Win­ter Olympics.

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