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December 24, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Mayor urges hard look at transit ops

THERE is a gap between the ability to build subways and managing them well, shown by Tuesday's subway accident that caused the longest and worst passenger delay in local Metro history, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said yesterday.

Han said "great challenges" lie ahead as the city works to make its subway system the world's biggest by 2012, with more than 500 kilometers of track.

He urged transport officials to ensure operational safety of the subways and to analyze the accident's causes for future reference.

Line 1 was shut down for almost the entire morning on Tuesday after two trains collided in the tunnel about 7am.

The line resumed full service about 12:15pm.

No one was injured, but thousands of passengers had to stay in a damaged train for over four hours waiting to be evacuated.

Eight Line 1 stations were shut, causing major traffic jams and passenger congestion around the station entrances.

Sun Jianping, chief director of Shanghai Transport and Port Administration Bureau, said in a press conference that the reasons for the accident in Metro Line 1 were "complicated" and "it takes time for a conclusion."

The narrow tunnel space, large passenger volume and the removal of the colliding trains attributed to the hours-long tie-up, he said.

"It's a lesson not just for the subways, but for transport system as a whole," said Sun.

No compensation plan for the delayed passengers was yet released, but authorities said passengers affected by the snag can refund their tickets within seven days.

A joint task force, headed by Sun, has been set up to look into the accident.

The investigation team has checked the train and signal data as well as surveillance camera videos for further analysis.

Authorities also requested a simulation test, using empty trains at night, to recreate the accident scene.

The Metro operator declined to comment, other than to say it has conducted safety checks along the line.


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