Beijing doesn't need a bomb-proof toilet, says detective

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 September, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 September, 2006, 12:00am

An 800,000-yuan bomb-proof public toilet in Beijing is totally unnecessary, according to a top city criminal investigator.

The 15-tonne toilet is in the heart of Beijing's Zhongguancun 'Silicon Valley' area. With 30cm-thick walls, it is reportedly strong enough to protect users from a bomb blast.

The China Times quoted the company which funded the toilet as saying the facility was developed in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US and was widely used overseas. The bill with shipping and installation came to 900,000 yuan.

It features automatic flushing and sterilising, but has yet to open to the public because its message function - designed to alert a company employee's mobile phone in case of a malfunction - is not up and running.

Most public toilets in Beijing are free, but users of the bomb-proof facility are expected to be hit with a 1-yuan charge.

Zuo Zhijin , a high-profile detective with the Beijing Public Security Bureau, told the China Times it was ridiculous to install the toilet on the mainland.

Dr Zuo said the security threats that prompted the facility's use in the United States did not apply in China.

'Beijing has had almost no bomb attacks, so it is meaningless to build such a toilet here,' he said.