BEIJING—Six workers are dead in China after being hit by an express cargo train on the railway line connecting Beijing and the southern city of Guangzhou.
A local government statement about the Dec. 10 accident said authorities are still investigating why the workers were on a live track.
State media reported in July that the number of train-related accidents and deaths had declined during the first half of 2016. China’s national safety regulator, the State Administration of Work Safety, reported 1,037 train-related deaths in 2015 and blamed most of them on pedestrians and drivers improperly crossing tracks, as well as typhoons and other natural disasters.
The agency reports one other major fatal train accident this year on its online database, a crash in May that killed three people, though the database may not include all crashes.
China has surpassed 20,000 kilometres (12,400 miles) of high-speed rail, with a target of adding another 10,000 kilometres (6,214 miles) by 2020. The World Bank estimates China has spent $360 billion on high-speed rail, building by far the largest network in the world.
A July 2011 crash near the city of Wenzhou killed 40 people and injured 191. No other accidents of that scale are known to have occurred since then. The State Administration of Work Safety reported in July that far more accidents occur in China’s coal mining industry, known to be one of the deadliest in the world, or on Chinese roads and highways.