`China train crash payments almost double`

China has almost doubled the compensation offered to relatives of those killed in a high-speed train crash.

Beijing: China has almost doubled the compensation offered to relatives of those killed in a high-speed train crash, state media said on Friday, after fierce criticism of authorities` handling of the disaster.

Bereaved relatives will receive 915,000 yuan ($142,000) -- 415,000 yuan more than the original amount on offer, the official Xinhua news agency said, as the death toll from the crash near the eastern city of Wenzhou rose to 40.

The accident was the worst ever to hit China`s high-speed rail network and has raised questions over whether safety concerns may have been overlooked in the rush to build the world`s largest high-speed railway.

Beijing: China has almost doubled the compensation offered to relatives of those killed in a high-speed train crash, state media said on Friday, after fierce criticism of authorities` handling of the disaster.

Bereaved relatives will receive 915,000 yuan ($142,000) -- 415,000 yuan more than the original amount on offer, the official Xinhua news agency said, as the death toll from the crash near the eastern city of Wenzhou rose to 40.

The accident was the worst ever to hit China`s high-speed rail network and has raised questions over whether safety concerns may have been overlooked in the rush to build the world`s largest high-speed railway.

In a lengthy article on the train crash Friday, Xinhua said the explanation for the cause of the accident "has raised even more public doubts" and noted the Internet had "become a significant outlet for public anxiety".

It also criticised the company which designed the signalling equipment for giving only a "bare bones" explanation and for failing to answer "many of the questions posed by journalists" at a press conference on Thursday.

There have also been reports of relatives refusing to accept compensation packages until the accident has been fully investigated, and on Friday Xinhua said authorities had decided to increase the payment on offer.

The rise came as a male passenger succumbed to his injuries in hospital, taking the death toll to 40, with nearly 200 injured.

On Friday, relatives of the dead gathered in Wenzhou to observe traditional mourning rituals, lay flowers and light candles at the disaster scene, Xinhua said.

Bureau Report