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July 21, 2009

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Explosive goods seized on Metro

NINETEEN people were detained up to 15 days in the past month for carrying inflammable or explosive materials on local subways, Shanghai Metro police said yesterday.

Shanghai police stepped up checks on banned items on public transports after the June 5 Chengdu bus blaze, in which a man deliberately ignited gas in a bus in the capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province, killing 27 people and injuring 74 others.

Over 7,500 goods, including highly concentrated industrial alcohol, paint and lacquer thinner, have been seized this year, according to Metro police.

A migrant worker surnamed Liu from Henan Province, who on July 9 carried a welding gun containing 2 kilograms of petrol at Xinzhuang Station on Line 1, was detained by seven days, police said.

Security staff at Metro stations checked commuters for banned items such as fireworks, gasoline, poisons, corrosive materials and hazardous chemicals.

Many detained passengers were aware that flammable and explosive articles are banned on the Metro, but they thought they wouldn't be checked, Metro police said.

Sniffer dogs

At Nanjing Road W. Station on Line 2, a security guard yesterday asked a commuter to empty a bottle of soft drink before allowing him to pass the turnstile.

"Although a few commuters refused to be checked, saying harsh words, most passengers were cooperative," said a guard who asked not to be named.

At Zhongshan Park station, police dogs sniffed for hazardous items in commuters' bags.

City police also urged Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, the local Metro operator, to renew old monitoring cameras on the Metro. Some monitoring machines on Metro Lines 1 to 5 have not been used for eight years, police said.

Meanwhile, three draft designs for escape windows for local transit buses will be exhibited to canvass public opinions.

Sun Jianping, director of the Shanghai Communications, Transport and Port Bureau, earlier announced that his bureau was seeking to create an emergency escape window suitable for local air-conditioned buses. Currently, air-conditioned buses in Shanghai have sealed windows.

The bureau hopes to improve escape access on buses in the wake of the Chengdu bus blaze. It has authorized three bus companies to work on their own designs.

The designs will be displayed at one of the major bus stations downtown to canvass opinions from the public and experts, Sun said.


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