BEIJING -- A high-speed train driver in southern China was killed, and eight others were injured after two cars collided with a mudslide early Saturday morning. State broadcaster CCTV reported.
Midmorning, the train was entering the tunnel in the inland south province of Guizhou. It was traveling along a regular route to Guangzhou's coastal business center.
CCTV reported that the injured were in stable condition, and the remaining 136 passengers were safely evacuated.
Investigating the cause of this accident is underway. Due to heavy precipitation and development of infrastructure in mountainous regions, landslides are quite common in this region.
China boasts the largest high-speed rail network in the world, covering 40,000 km (24,855 mi) and running trains at speeds of more than 300 km (186 mi) an hour. Although hundreds of millions of passengers are transported annually, that number has fallen drastically under the pandemic-related travel restrictions.
Safety records for the system are generally good. The exception to a collision between two trains in Wenzhou, which left at least 40 dead and caused a public outcry over an apparent attempt to conceal the extent of the damage was made.
China's aviation industry has been under fire lately after the mysterious crash of a China Eastern Airlines passenger plane on March 21. All 132 passengers were killed.
On May 12, a flight of Tibet Airlines with 122 passengers was leaving Chongqing, in the southwest. It veered off the runway to catch fire and set itself ablaze. Several passengers sustained minor injuries, but no one was hurt.