Shenzhen Metro failure strands 2,000 in the dark

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 January, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 January, 2005, 12:00am

Thousands of commuters using the new Shenzhen Metro were stranded in a tunnel when a train broke down at the weekend.

The 2,000 passengers travelling on the subway's No1 line on Saturday had to leave the train and walk along the track to nearby Gangxia station, the China News Service yesterday quoted a Southern Metropolis News report as saying.

No injuries were reported in the incident, which shut the subway system for 42 minutes.

Witnesses said the train came to a halt and the lights and air-conditioning system stopped working, trapping passengers in the dark.

After waiting eight minutes for instructions from subway operators, and with panic starting to grip the commuters, a passenger from Hong Kong forced a door open, then unlocked the other doors.

The passengers then left the train and walked through the tunnel back to Gangxia station. Ambulances arrived to treat some of the commuters, particularly the elderly who had complained about shortness of breath.

Officials said a technical malfunction caused the incident. An investigation is continuing.

The subway's first two lines had a chaotic opening last Tuesday when more than 15,000 people used the service. Hundreds of passengers clashed with security guards and police at Lowu station, but the company later denied there had been any chaos.