From the ABC 7 Weather team

Lightning blamed in fatal Chinese bullet train collision (VIDEO)

July 25, 2011 - 01:08 PM
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Helicopter footage shows how an alleged thunderbolt can wreak havoc on humankind's transportation systems.

This discouraging footage below shows the mangled remains of two bullet trains after they collided Saturday near Wenzhou in China's Zhejiang province, killing at least 38 people and injuring nearly 200 The cause, according to Chinese authorities, was lightning.

It wasn't that an unexpected bolt from the sky caused a train to go haywire. These conveyances have automatic systems prepared to react in the chance of a lightning strike. In this case, the train that was zapped apparently functioned correctly by shutting down. The second train, however, did not shut down and plowed directly into the disabled vehicle at a substantial clip. Just why that happened is under investigation.

Lightning nailing moving trains isn't unheard of – Japan's shinkansen has gotten toasted before – but if it's happened in D.C. with Metro, I sure can't find evidence of it. Is that because the District has some kick-butt electrical-diffusion technology? Train buffs stay tuned: I have a call out to Metro to find out how our local people-movers deal with surprise electrical attacks.

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