Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has visited the scene of a train accident that killed 39 people, stoking widespread public anger.
Officials are suspected of covering up facts and stifling media coverage to protect ambitious rail expansion plans and the Communists’ image of unruffled control.
Pledging a full, transparent enquiry, Wen said that those responsible for any corruption “will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. And that is, I believe, our best and most responsible answer to those who lost their lives in this accident.”
As they brought incense to the site of the crash in eastern Zhejiang province, bereaved relatives were demanding answers.
“We want to ask the government what caused the accident,” said Jin Xiannai who lost relatives in Saturday’s accident. “The second question is about rescue efforts. Did they try everything to save lives? Thirdly, compensation. 99 percent of us are still unsatisfied. We are unsatisfied about everything.”
A Chinese railway research institute has taken the blame for a flaw in signalling equipment said to have caused one train to run into the back of another.