Chinese high-speed rail line blocked … by passenger’s sunblock

Service was forced to halt after traveller accidentally set off fire alarm by spraying on sunscreen in lavatory

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 June, 2018, 2:27pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 June, 2018, 2:27pm

A high-speed train in China was brought to a halt because a passenger’s spray-on sunblock set off the fire alarms, according to mainland media reports.

The woman went into a lavatory to apply the sunblock on Tuesday but the spray was mistaken for smoke particles by the sensors.

This triggered the fire alarm and forced the driver to stop the train, which was travelling between Zhengzhou and Anyang.

Train staff investigated the matter and the service resumed after a delay of just three minutes when they realised there was no fire, The Beijing News reported on Friday. The delay did, however, disrupt other services on the line.

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“The lavatory space is very confined. The spray produced a large number of ‘smoke particles’ which were detected by the alarm,” a technician told the newspaper. “The concentration has exceeded the standard.”

The woman whose spray triggered the alert said she was using the sunblock because she suffers from photodermatitis – an allergic condition that leads to inflammation of the skin when it is exposed to sunlight.

She added that she had been shocked that the train had been stopped, adding: “I feel so sorry for this.”

While passengers responsible for false alarms can be punished, no action was taken against the woman in this case and the spray she was carrying was not on the list of items banned from trains.