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December 8, 2015

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Metro glitch causes chaos during rush hour

IT was a chaotic start to the week for many commuters as Metro services were disrupted due to malfunctions during the morning rush hour yesterday.

A Metro Line 2 train suffered a brake problem and was stuck at Weining Road Station at about 8:20am. Authorities were forced limit the speed of other trains between Songhong Road Station and People’s Square Station. Normal service only resumed after an hour at about 9:30am.

But it led to chaos as commuters were stranded on platforms on Line 2, prompting the Metro operators to think up of alternate plans.

Emergency plans to tackle the large passenger volume was put in place at major spots, especially at People’s Square and Century Avenue stations.

“I was pushed onto the train and pushed back on the platform by the crowd,” a local resident named Wang Qi told Shanghai Daily after being stuck at the busy People’s Square Station.

“The air was also very bad as a lot of people were in the carriage.”

Another commuter, surnamed Han, said those stuck inside the crowded carriage were becoming impatient.

“I saw two arguments. Both started as they blamed the other for pushing. I could only hear people say ‘there’s no space’ and ‘stop pushing me.’”

Both Wang and Han were late for work by about 20 minutes.

As more commuters crowded on to stations, the Metro operator, with the help of subway police, launched crowd control measures at People’s Square, Jiangsu Road, Century Avenue and Jing’an Temple stations.

The stations took crowd preventive measures like making it one-way passage, closing some transfers and turnstiles to avoid clashing and stampede between incoming and commuters going in the opposite direction.

Local police were also roped in to support station staff and evacuate commuters.

Some trains on Line 8 and Line 7 did not halt at People’s Square and Jing’an Temple stations to reduce the pressure on commuters on Line 2, the metro operator said on its Weibo account at 9:10am.

Passengers were forced to get down at the next station and haul themselves back in the opposite direction.

“The two stations are very busy every morning. As the commuters could not be transported by Line 2 from the stations in time, we had to take measures,” a Metro spokesperson, surnamed Xu, told Shanghai Daily. “Otherwise the flow from the other two lines would result in more passengers getting stranded at the stations. That would have been dangerous.”

But shortly after Line 2 resumed operation, a carriage door problem affected Line 1 service on Huangpi Road S. Station, affecting operations from Huangpi Road S. to Xujiahui. Passengers on the malfunctioning train were evacuated and the service resumed in about 10 minutes. As it was almost at the end of morning rush hours, fewer commuters were affected. Later, the Metro operator apologized for the inconvenience.



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