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Crowds jam Expo's first trial

ABOUT 200,000 visitors thronged to the World Expo site in Shanghai today for the event's first trial, stretching public transport and services.

Passengers on Metro Line 8, linking Expo Park with downtown Shanghai, complained that trains were so crowded that doors couldn't close.

The trains stopped between stations from time to time and a half-hour ride from People's Square to Yaohua Road took more than one hour this morning.

At Yaohua Road station, near the entrance to Expo, jams formed at turnstile exit gates. Several turnstiles broke and visitors had to jump the barrier.

Safety checkpoints were canceled outside some Expo entrances because there were too many people waiting outside. At some gates, visitors waited for half an hour to pass through bag X-rays and body scans.

Only a few pavilions were open today, attracting thousands of people waiting in line for hours because reservation machines were not working.

The Chinese Pavilion stopped bookings about 10am and announcements repeatedly warned visitors to avoid the area nearby.

The British Pavilion was closed at 11:30am because staff could not cope with so many visitors. A minor conflict broke out when some visitors tried to jump the queue, according to

People faced long queues for food and drink, too, with some complaining about high prices.

Rubbish was also stacked in public water fountains after visitors threw meal boxes into the basin.

In contrast with the chaos in the Pudong side of Expo, the Puxi exhibition park ran smoothly.

There will be five more previews before the World Expo officially opens on May 1.


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