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April 17, 2010

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Relax, that 'mysterious bag' was a drill

A POLICE drill at the city's biggest railway station, to test their ability in handling explosives at busy transport hubs, attracted hundreds of onlookers yesterday convinced it was real.

Police said not much panic was caused, however.

The incident came at a time when the city is beefing up security checks and tightening regulations on safety at expressway toll stations, airports and railway and long-distance bus stations.

A reporter from, a local news Website, took photos at the scene yesterday about 1pm, which showed crowds surrounding a cordoned-off area at the south square of Shanghai Railway Station.

Inside was a piece of black luggage described as "an unidentified mysterious bag" on the Website.

A spokesman for the Shanghai Railway Police later dismissed the story, saying it was just a drill.

He said police had conducted several emergency drills since April 4. But most of them were held late at night. There will be more drills, he said.

From Thursday, passengers at city railway stations and long-distance bus stations will be required to have their luggage and bodies examined and there will be sniffer dogs at local transport hubs.

Railway police have confiscated more than 5,700 banned items, including explosives and knives since checks were tightened in March.


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