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July 7, 2010

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Metro victim 'running red light'

LOCAL Metro operator declined to comment yesterday on whether there had been any wrongdoing on the part of Metro staff which may have led to an incident on Monday in which one woman passenger died.

The operator said an investigation was ongoing.

But one official implied that she had placed herself in obvious danger by her own reckless conduct.

"Her behavior was like running a red light," said the Metro official. The official declined to be named.

Fan Jinmei, 55, died after she got her hand stuck in the train doors and was dragged into a safety barrier at Line 2's Zhongshan Park Station.

She had been trying to get on the train as the doors were closing, said subway operator, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group.

Metro workers rushed to help her as the train began to move but she was dragged into the safety barrier along the platform's edge.

Routine procedure is that the train driver steps out from his cabin to wait for an all-clear signal from a conductor on the platform.

The conductor uses a green flag to indicate it's safe to move off after a visual inspection.

Shentong said it would strengthen patrols along station platforms and coordination between drivers and platform staff.

Warning signs were put up at the Zhongshan Park Station yesterday to tell passengers not to squeeze into closing doors and more such signs will be put up at other subway stations.

However, some passengers were seen yesterday still rushing to catch trains as their doors were closing despite the accident. Many seemed to be under the impression that the train would not start if they or their bags got stuck.

Zhu Limin, an official with the Metro network control center, said that there was room for door improvements.

There is space for clothing or other flat items to be pulled through once the doors closed, he said.

But the sensitivity of the doors varies on the city's subway lines, Zhu added.

For example, the car doors on Line 2 are less sensitive than those on Line 3 which lock themselves if the doors fail to close three times.

Line 2 does not have enough space to install safety-screen doors which are used on other platforms to prevent passengers falling onto the tracks and stop suicide bids.


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