China: Most railways affected by quake "open for disaster relief"

Report
from Xinhua
Published on 13 May 2008 View Original
BEIJING, May 13, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- Four out of the five rail lines cut off after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that jolted southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday have resumed full operations for relief deliveries, according to Wang Yongping, spokesman with the Ministry of Railways (MOR).

Wang said 187 trains carrying relief materials, including 50,000 relief tents and one fuel train, would quickly move to affected areas.

Seven trains were scheduled to deliver relief materials for the eight affected provincial areas on Tuesday.

In addition, 1,300 military trains and 100 passenger trains would be deployed for disaster relief.

Rescue and repair work is still under way along the Baoji-Chengdu rail line between the northwestern city and the capital city of quake-stricken Sichuan.

A freight train that included 13 tankers of gasoline derailed and caught fire on the Baoji-Chengdu line on Monday. Also, several rail lines and bridges were damaged.

Among the eight trains trapped midway between Baoji and Chengdu, two had already been moved into stations, while six others were heading to nearby stations, according to Wang.

"The railway department has offered food and drinks as well as stepped up security. The affected passengers are in good condition," said Wang.

The MOR has mobilized 10 gasoline-powered engines and 20 pieces of power-generating equipment for water transportation and electricity supply for 13 stations along the Baoji-Chengdu line, where electricity and telecommunication signals were cut off by the earthquake.

Relief trains would detour through three other railway lines to reach the disaster areas until the Baoji-Chengdu line was back in service.