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August 18, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Safety issue raised as rat spotted on subway

SOME Shanghai residents are worried that more frequent appearances of rats on the city's subway network will jeopardize operational safety after a large rodent caused chaos among passengers on a rush-hour train yesterday morning.

With a sudden burst of screams about 8:25am yesterday, a big crowd of passengers scurried off a carriage and on to the platform as a train stopped at Changshu Road Station on Line 1. A rat on board the train had triggered the panic. The Metro operator later confirmed nobody was hurt and subway services were not affected.

"People moved as swiftly as a SWAT police team! It's all because of a rat," a passenger wrote on his microblog shortly after the incident.

Some commuters didn't know what was happening but were nonetheless frightened because of the screaming.

"Is that a flash mob?" Qian Duo Duo, a woman passenger on the train, said on her microblog. "Everyone on the carriage just ran out in seconds. I was shoveled out by the crowd behind me and even lost a shoe. It was so frightening and I don't know what happened."

With thousands of passengers reporting the incident on social networking websites, the public quickly started to express concern that rats could chew on wires and possibly pose a danger to safe operations of the trains.

The Metro authority said the cable and wiring systems are completely segregated from the outside and that rats would not be able to damage the power and signaling systems. Metro officials added they regularly kill rats and harmful insects at all Metro facilities.

Officials added that no wiring facilities have ever been damaged by rats.

Metro officials also said some police officers arrived on the scene to ensure order was restored. The rat was not caught.

Some Metro officials said the rat was probably attracted by food on the train.


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