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Catholics offer train-crash aid

Nuns to offer counseling to survivors, families of Wenzhou disaster victims

Catholic parishioners from Wenzhou visit survivors of a deadly high-speed train crash Catholic parishioners from Wenzhou visit survivors of a deadly high-speed train crash
  • ucanews.com reporter, Wenzhou
  • China
  • July 25, 2011
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Catholics in Wenzhou as well as Church-run Jinde Charities are joining forces to provide counseling and aid to survivors and the families of victims in China’s worst train disaster since 2008.

On Saturday night, a bullet train slammed into another express that had lost power after a lightning strike. The impact of the crash sent four carriages over the edge of a viaduct, crashing to the ground below, and derailed two others.

The accident, on the outskirt of Wenzhou city in Zhejiang province has so far killed 36 people and injured 210 others.

Father Ma Xianshi of Wenzhou said that a nun and several laypeople had gone Wenzhou No. 3 and No. 8 hospitals yesterday afternoon to console victims and to pray for them.

They also made a preliminary assessment of the situation to see how the Church can help, he said.

Today, Sister Li Haiyin of Jinde Charities in Hebei province flew to Wenzhou with two other nuns to offer professional counseling. The nuns have experience in counseling victims of the earthquakes in Sichuan in 2008 and in Qinghai province in 2010.

Father Ma has also appealed for local Catholics to donate blood.

In the same diocese, Coadjutor Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, who manages the underground community, expressed his “profound sadness” at the accident.

He said he instructed all parishes to pray for the victims and the dead at yesterday’s Sunday Masses and called on Catholics to volunteer to help victims overcome their traumas

In 2008, an express train bound for the eastern city of Qingdao from Beijing derailed and collided with another train killing 72 people and injuring more than 400.
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