Toddler found alive in China train wreck

A toddler has been rescued 21 hours after a crash involving two high-speed trains killed at least 35 people in China.

A toddler has been rescued 21 hours after a crash involving two high-speed trains killed at least 35 people in China.

Xinhua News Agency said rescuers found an unconscious toddler early today while clearing one of the train carriages just as clean-up efforts were almost completed.

The toddler has been taken to hospital.

A bullet train was travelling south from the Zhejiang provincial capital last night when it lost power in a lightning strike and stalled, before being hit from behind by the second train in Wenzhou city.

Some of the carriages fell off up 100ft off a viaduct to the ground below. At least 35 people died and more than 200 were injured.

It was the first derailment on China’s high-speed rail network since the country launched bullet trains with a top speed of 155mph in 2007, the China Daily reported.

It is an embarrassment for China, which plans to massively expand its bullet train network to link together its far-flung regions and show off its rising wealth and technological prowess. It is also trying to sell its trains to Latin America and the Middle East.

Last month, it launched the Beijing to Shanghai high-speed line, whose trains can travel at a top speed of 186mph. The speed was cut from the originally planned 217mph after questions were raised about safety.

In less than four weeks of operation, power outages and other malfunctions have plagued the showcase 820-mile line. The Railways Ministry has apologised for the problems and said that summer thunderstorms and winds were the cause in some cases.

The second train had left Beijing and both trains were destined for Fuzhou in eastern Fujian province. Wang said it was unclear how long the first train had sat on the track before being struck.

Early today, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao had called for an all-out effort to rescue passengers still trapped in the wreckage hours after the collision, Xinhua said.

The Wenzhou city government said more than 1,000 people participated in the rescue operation.

About 1,500 passengers were taken to a middle school, and more than 500 residents had given blood after appeals from the local blood bank, which said many of the injured needed transfusions, CCTV reported.

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