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January 15, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Chaos as power failure halts trains in city

MORE than 10 trains were delayed yesterday due to a power failure at Hongqiao Railway Station in Shanghai yesterday, just nine days before the Spring Festival, the peak travel season.

The breakdown occurred at about 1:33pm, the city's railway operator said.

The operator said the problem was with the overhead power supply and that the glitch was fixed in 50 minutes.

Zhou Hongwei, a travel agency manager, said he was "stuck on a G121 train at Wuxi Station" while a G15 train broke down beside it.

"It's chaotic on the train," he said. Some passengers panicked and tried to escape by opening the doors and breaking through the windows, Zhou said. "It's terrible and no railway staff members explained what was happening," he added.

Passengers said via microblogs that "a flash was spotted on top of a train at a platform and that a sound like an explosion was heard and sparks seen."

Other passengers wrote: "There is no light or power in the carriages."

More than 10 train services reported delays after the incident, according to the railway operator's website. Some services reported delays of up to two hours. The station mainly operates high-speed services to neighboring Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, and to Beijing.

Shanghai Railway Bureau admitted the delays but said "no fire or other mishaps were involved."

The power supply resumed at about 2:20pm, said railway officials who apologized to the riders.

Some passengers had to get refunds or change to other train services.

Riders expressed concern as the annual travel rush has begun at the city's three main railway stations.

The country's railway system, especially bullet train services, has been criticized in recent months for delays and frequent power failures.

A high-speed train crash killed 40 people last July in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province.


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