Train collision sends more than 500 to the hospital

BEIJING, CHINA – An unexpected turn of events unfolded in Beijing when two subway trains collided amidst a heavy snowstorm, resulting in 515 individuals requiring medical treatment, including 102 who sustained fractures, according to Friday’s official announcement.

The unfortunate incident transpired on Thursday evening, in the snow-laden, mountainous western part of Beijing. The collision occurred on an elevated section of the Changping line, a part of the city’s intricate subway system.

According to Beijing’s transportation authority, the accident was caused by the slippery tracks which activated the automatic brakes of the leading train. The following train, descending a slope, lost control due to the slippery tracks, failing to stop in time and causing the collision. The authority shared these details in a social media post on Friday.

Emergency response teams, including medical staff, police, and transportation authorities, were quick to respond to the incident. All passengers were safely evacuated by 11 p.m. As of Friday morning, 25 passengers were still under observation, and 67 remained in the hospital, according to the authority’s update.

The abnormal heavy snowfall, which started on Wednesday, has led to the suspension of some train services and school closures. Warnings for icy roads, extreme cold, and more snowfall continue to be in place. The temperature was expected to plummet to -11 degrees Celsius (12 degrees Fahrenheit) overnight.

Despite the severe winter storms sweeping across a large part of northern China, no deaths have been reported. While Beijing is infamous for its harsh winters, such heavy snowfall is a rarity.