Angry Chinese woman holds up rush-hour train in Shanghai over lost phone

Passenger seen in video causing a commotion and stopping the train from leaving because she thought someone had taken her mobile

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 May, 2018, 5:25pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 May, 2018, 10:24am

A woman delayed a Shanghai metro line for 20 minutes during rush hour on Monday after she lost her phone and stopped the train from leaving, according to reports.

The passenger is seen in a video of the incident published by Btime.com causing a commotion on a packed evening train.

Convinced someone on board had taken her mobile, the woman prevented the train from leaving Guanglan Road station on busy Line 2 – which connects airports in the west and east of the city – for 20 minutes, delaying thousands.

It was not clear whether she stayed on the train or finally stepped away, allowing the doors to close.

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In Shanghai, more than 10 million individual trips are made on the metro on an average weekday, making it the second busiest subway in the world after Tokyo. It provides 53 per cent of public transport used by the city’s 24 million people, according to official data.

Btime’s video had 4.5 million views at the time of publishing, but the original post was deleted after the woman asked the witness who filmed it not to authorise media to use the footage, he told the South China Morning Post.

A station worker told Btime that the passenger “didn’t know who had taken it, just that the phone had gone”. “She thought it was someone on the train so didn’t let it go and wouldn’t listen to anyone for about 20 minutes,” the employee said.

“We didn’t have any law enforcement so had to wait for police to come,” he added. “We have passed this onto the police to deal with, but they are yet to look over the security footage.”

In the video, passengers can be heard in the background asking staff to remove the woman from the train and telling her she will be detained, before she shouts “I am a victim!”

“You’re a victim? There are thousands of passengers – you’re holding up the train. All I can see is you holding up the train,” a metro employee replies.

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Staff warned the woman she could be detained but she would not back down, according to a Kankan News report on Wednesday.

The news site quoted online commenters who had little sympathy for the woman.

“It is not wrong that she is the victim, but she let thousands of people pay for her problem – and still some say she deserves sympathy?” one wrote. “There is no logic in this! Thieves are hateful, but her behaviour is even more shocking. If people are like this will society have any order?”

“Don’t delay everyone just because your phone is stolen,” another wrote, while a third said: “She doesn’t deserve any sympathy at all.”

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