A toddler has been rescued some 21 hours after a Chinese high-speed train crash killed 36 people and injured 192 others, state media in China reported.
The child was found unconscious by rescuers as they neared the end of a major cleanup effort after two bullet trains collided in eastern China, derailing a total of six train carriages.
The child, reported by state-run China Daily as being a 2-year-old girl named Xiang Weiyi, was said to have no obvious injuries and had been trapped in the last carriage of a bullet train that had stalled and was hit from behind by a second train.
The girl's uncle told the newspaper that she had been travelling with her parents, and he did not know if they had survived.
The first train had been traveling south from Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, late Saturday when it was hit by lightning, lost power and stalled, before being hit by the second train in Wenzhou city, the Associated Press reported.
Three top Chinese railway officials were fired after the crash and remain under investigation, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
China’s railway ministry sacked the head of the Shanghai railway bureau, his deputy and the bureau's Communist Party chief.
China Daily said the accident was the first derailment on the country’s high-speed rail system since China launched bullet trains in 2007.
The accident caused the services of 58 bullet trains — to the cities of Wenzhou, Fuzhou and Xiamen — to be suspended, and officials called for a nationwide safety check, state media reported.
The accident is a massive embarrassment for China, which hopes to expand its high-speed rail network throughout the country as well as export its technology abroad.
"China's high-speed rail technology is advanced," railway ministry spokesman Wang Yongping told the China News Service. "We still have confidence."
China just last month launched the much-anticipated Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line. But the new bullet train service has been plagued by power outages, which rail officials have blamed on “bad weather.”
China’s last major train accident was in April 2008, when a train traveling from Beijing to the coastal city of Qingdao derailed and crashed into another train, killing 72 people dead and injuring another 416, the AP reports.