Tributes pour in for ‘hero’ train driver who sacrificed life to save 144 passengers in China’s Guizhou

Tributes pour in for ‘hero’ train driver who sacrificed life to save 144 passengers in China’s Guizhou

The driver of bullet train D2809, who engaged the emergency brakes within five seconds of detecting an abnormality in southwest China’s Guizhou province on Saturday, managed to stop the train and save the lives of 144 passengers before he died due to derailment.

Two carriages of the train travelling from Guiyang to Guangzhou, Guangdong province, came off the tracks after being hit by mud and rockslides as the train neared Rongjiang station in Guizhou on Saturday, reported

The following accident killed driver Yang Yong and left eight others injured, mentioned a statement released by the China State Railway Group, the national railway operator.

The remaining 136 passengers were safely rescued.

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After analysing the train data, investigators found that Yang detected an abnormality on the track when the train was in a tunnel near the Rongjiang station and engaged the emergency brakes. The train hit the mud and rockslide and slid for over 900 meters before it derailed.

Yong was a veteran soldier. He served in the People’s Armed Police Force (PAP) Hainan Corps from 1993 to 1996. During his service, he was a squad leader and was rated as an outstanding soldier.

After retiring, Yang took up the jobs of co-driver, assistant driver, foreman, driver instructor, ground driver, and train driver.


People hailed Yong as a hero and paid tributes online.

A user tweeted, “Train driver on D2809 5 second braking” : Emergency braking becomes muscle memory, Yang Yong did everything he could.”

Another Twitter user wrote, “Do remember, there’s a hero in China today called Yang Yong, who was on duty on the D2809 train from Guiyang North to Guangzhou South. He saved all except himself.”

Urging people to remember the deceased train driver, a user shared an illustration and wrote, “Remember the name of the hero, Yang Yong.”

A user shared a video of the train driver’s body being taken to his hometown and wrote, “The heroic driver of #D2809 Yang Yong returned to his hometown of #Zunyi , #Guizhou , under the escort of the convoy. Locals spontaneously lined the way to bid farewell Welcome home heroes.”

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