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July 14, 2011

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Stairs Jammed Amid New Shutdown

TWO OTIS escalators at the Zhenping Road Station were shut down because of potential safety problems yesterday, causing crowd congestion during the rush hour.

Hundreds of passengers squeezed together to move slowly up and down the stairs in the narrow transfer area connecting Metro Lines 3, 4 and 7 about 8am.

"It's completely jammed up in both directions, with many passengers complaining and many shooting pictures with cell phones for microblogging," said Sha Sha, one of the commuters.

"We are just sneaked forward as snails," she said, adding that fatal accidents from stampedes are likely to occur in such narrow and packed stairways.

Passengers suspected the two escalators were taken down as part of officials' continuing caution in the wake of a fatal accident last week on an escalator in the Beijing subway system.

But the Metro operator said OTIS inspectors found potential safety hazards on the two escalators during a bi-weekly routine check.


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