1981 Railway bridge crash: Heavy rain kills 275. What happened?

2022-06-04 0 By

On July 9, 1981, train no. 442 left the Platform before dawn and slowly headed for Chengdu.Midway through Niger station, train 442 stopped for a long time, both to get on and off the train and to avoid the oncoming train 211.Normally, in order to ensure the safety of train entry, when a train passes by one station, the staff on duty at that station will contact the staff at the next station in advance.But when train 442 left Niger station, the officers on duty lost contact with it.The railway from Geliping to Chengdu passes through many mountain tunnels, so intermittent loss of contact is extremely normal.Moreover, train 211 had just passed through the front, which made the staff on duty believe that there was no safety hazard ahead, and also made the staff more convinced that it was a bad signal that caused the failure to contact train 442.In order to confirm his guess, the officer on duty at Niger station planned to contact the next platform, Ouse River station.What happened next, however, worried the station’s watchmen, who had not received any feedback from the Ouse station.You know, at that time, each station was connected by a railway fiber optic cable signal, which would not normally be unreachable, unless there was an accident.At the same time that the staff of Niger station were worried about this, the 442 train was passing through a tunnel called Granny Bao.Just as the train is about to exit the tunnel, and toward the tunnel exit in front of the Lizi IDA bridge, train driver Wang Mingru dimly spotted the front of the railway was damaged signs, experienced he immediately pulled the emergency brake.But the speed of the train was not slow, with great inertia, train 442 or out of the track.As the train approached the exit of the tunnel, the tracks in front of them were broken and the bridge had lost nearly half of its length, according to the surviving crew members.If Wang did not react and hit the emergency brake at the first time, the accident would have killed the entire train.Inside another survived the conductor is to recall the situation: “the train was in the tunnel driving, the car outside suddenly sounded shrill sound slams on the brakes, then, the car’s lights all went out, and the attendant on the train at the time, all because of severe shaking head smashed through.”After the violent shaking, what happened was that the train ran out of the broken bridge, and the trains no. 2, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13, led by the locomotive, fell through the gap in the broken bridge into the Liziida ditch.The accident killed most of the passengers in the crashed carriage, but luckily Wang pushed the mayday button at the last moment to transmit the distress signal to the nearby station.Both Nizhi and Ouse stations, which received distress signals, were the first to send rescue units.In the end, all passengers in the non-accident compartment of train 442 were rescued. Unfortunately, 275 people, including the driver, died in the accident.There are two theories about the worst railway accident in China’s history. One is that the construction of the section of railway was too low and the track suffered severe damage in the natural environment and eventually could not bear the weight of the train and broke.Another theory is that the broken tracks were caused by deliberate sabotage by criminals who wanted to hurt the economic development of the new China.These two views seem to be reasonable, but are still denied by experts.First of all, the state has always used the most expensive and best quality materials and hired the best designers in the technology to build the railways.And in the later construction of the railway, the state invited skilled workers are also extremely responsible.Hundreds of tests were carried out on the finished tracks after they were completed, to avoid quality and technical damage in future trains.If there are signs of damage to the railway in peacetime, relevant departments will be the first to repair.As for the second kind of man-made damage speculation, because the rail is made of top-grade materials, to destroy must use explosives, but the residents living in the surrounding area did not hear the sound of the explosion, the investigation department found no explosive residue at the site of the accident, so this speculation is not established.In order to find out the truth of the matter, the investigation team conducted a further survey of the environment around the accident site.The team found a number of large stones in the vicinity of the Liziida Gorge, which had always been covered with leafy grass and would not have existed.Based on this clue, the investigation team speculated that the boulders were rolled down the mountain by a mudslide.On the day of the train 442 accident, however, it was only raining and there was no possibility that the mudslide could have formed.Adhering to the principle of “perseverance”, the investigation team based on existing clues, all the way to the source of the Liziida Ditch.It is a mountain with an elevation of nearly 5,000 meters. According to information provided by the meteorological Bureau and relevant local authorities, the investigation team found that the mountain experienced a heavy rainstorm not long ago, when the mountain experienced a landslide, and even produced large-scale floods and mudslides along the way.The tracks along the Chengdu-Kunming line through Liziyida Valley were destroyed by boulders weighing nearly 500 tons.Even the famous Lizi IDA bridge, also under the impact of the boulder was damaged nearly half, with clues to investigate this step, the truth of the accident has finally come to light.Although the accident was caused by a natural disaster, the government still gave compensation and condolences to the families of the victims out of sympathy for the public.Wang Mingru, the 442 train driver in the accident, was given the title of martyr by the country because he was calm when the accident happened and minimized the loss with his power within his power.Soon after the accident, relevant departments repaired the damaged railway at the fastest speed, and it only took half a month to get the chengdu-Kunming line open again.Repair for nearly half a month just to make railway maintain normal operation, the complex terrain disaster, landslide where there are 183 alone, rockfalls hotspot is as high as more than 500, want to will be restored the original railway, and make further disaster relief on the basis of the previous improvement, this is clearly a project to be reckoned with.Four years after the 442 train accident, a brand new railway line appeared in public view. Instead of repairing the Liziida Bridge, a 1,465-meter-long Liziida tunnel was built in the mountains along the way.The tunnel minimizes the risk of natural disasters in the area, as the accident that happened to train no. 442 will not happen again.Now, more than 40 years have passed since the occurrence time of the 442 listed accidents. After further repair and improvement, Chengdu-Kunming Railway has become one of the most important railways in China under the approval of the state.