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April 27, 2011

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Man hides on Metro train roof

A FLEEING suspected thief climbed on to the roof of a subway train during yesterday's morning rush hour, halting Metro services for 40 minutes and stranding thousands of passengers.

Police said the suspect, surnamed He, has been detained.

If found guilty, he would face severe punishment as he "put his own life and the lives of other passengers in great jeopardy," said officers

The Metro authority, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, said this was the first incident of its kind in the city.

The drama began about 8:45am at Line 2's Lujiazui Station when the man was allegedly caught stealing a wallet from another passenger in a train carriage, police said.

However, as the passenger tried to alert officers, the suspect broke free and ran into the tunnel, surveillance camera footage showed.

With police and Metro staff in pursuit, the man ran along the tunnel to Line 2's Dongchang Road Station.

"We had to slow or stop all the trains in the section then," said Zhu Limin, an Metro official with the operation center.

The suspect then climbed on to the roof of a train that had stopped in the tunnel, the authorities said.

Hiding himself on the roof between two carriages, the man was spotted at Lujiazui about 9am as the train moved slowly into the station.

Metro staff cut off the power in that section before the man was caught.

The power was stopped for about 10 minutes, forcing trains heading to downtown stations such as People's Square and Central Avenue to be suspended, said the operator.

"It would never occur to me the subway was late for that reason," said a passenger, surnamed Xi, who complained he was late for work.

And other passengers said online "it's stuffy in the carriages" as train air-conditioners stopped working during the power cut.

Thousands of passengers were stranded at busy stations along the line as the Metro operator limited the numbers of riders entering the stations after the incident.

Operations along the line did not resume until 9:30am, said the operator, adding that it apologized to passengers and offered refunds.

Police said the suspect was not injured.

It is alleged that the detained man had stolen a wallet containing 700 yuan (US$107) and a number of cards, said police.


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