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June 27, 2017

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President of Chinese railway builder dies in possible suicide

BEIJING--The president of one of China's biggest railway builders has died and a newspaper reported he might have killed himself.

Bai Zhongren, president of state-owned China Railway Group Ltd., died Saturday due to an accident, the company said in a statement. It gave no details.

The Shanghai newspaper China Business News, citing unidentified sources, said the 53-year-old executive jumped to his death from a fourth-story window at his home. It said he suffered from depression and the company had been under financial pressure.

China Railway, with 290,000 employees, has built rail lines and other projects throughout China. It was ranked No. 102 last year on Fortune magazine's list of the world's biggest companies.

Phone calls to China Railway's headquarters in Beijing weren't answered.

China has the world's biggest railway system. The state-owned railway operator announced in December its network had passed 100,000 kilometers (60,000 miles) of track, including 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) of high-speed lines.

China's railway industry was convulsed by a corruption scandal over the past two years but there was no indication Bai or China Railway Group was involved.

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