Seoul-Gangneung KTX service fully restored

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Seoul-Gangneung KTX service fully restored


A KTX high-speed train passes through the rail track on Monday where another KTX train jumped off the rails Saturday morning. The train operation on the Seoul-Gangneung line was restored to normal on Monday morning. [YOHAP]

The KTX high-speed train service linking Seoul and the eastern city of Gangneung, Gangwon, resumed operation on Monday, two days after a derailment accident.

The Korea Railroad Corporation (Korail) said that the first train, carrying around 100 passengers, departed Gangneung at 5:30 a.m. It was followed by another train heading to Seoul at 5:32 a.m.

The restoration of service comes after KTX train with 198 passengers that left for Seoul early Saturday morning derailed five minutes after leaving Gangneung Station. The incident injured 16 people aboard.

After the accident, around 300 repair personnel and two large cranes were mobilized to remove the locomotive and passenger cars that broke apart during the derailment.

A joint team of Transport Ministry and Korail officials has tentatively concluded after investigating the site that an error in the railroad switch system that controls the tracks likely caused the derailment.

Police in charge of train-related affairs have launched an internal investigation into the exact cause of the accident, officials said. Land Minister Kim Hyun-mee apologized Sunday over the accident and vowed to find out the exact cause of the derailment via a thorough probe.

The derailment is the first major accident on the line connecting South Korea’s capital city and Gangneung. It opened on Dec. 22, 2017, ahead of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February. The train link allows passengers to travel from Seoul to Gangneung in an hour and a half.

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