Beijing's Shuangjing subway station was abruptly shut down during rush hour this morning. Eyewitnesses report seeing smoke, bright flashes and loud bangs. Officials are saying that the incident was caused by a mechanical failure.
Here is a rough timeline of how the events unfolded:
A train heading from Shaungjing to Guomao on Subway Line 10 malfunctions. Those on the train report smelling a strong, burnt scent and seeing smoke. A number of witnesses at Guomao station post videos that capture bright flashes and loud bangs from the train while it is still in the tunnel. Everyone is evacuated from the scene, and the station is closed.
The Beijing Metro Company takes to Weibo to assure citizens that there were no explosions. The station remains closed. Most trains are delayed, and Line 10 is generally avoided. Some subway lines that cross paths with Line 10 do not stop at transfer stations, such as Hujialou.
The Beijing Metro Company states the technical error was resolved and reveals that the head of the train had been emitting smoke due to faulty equipment.
The station reopens after being closed for more than an hour.
After the chaos and panic subsides, complaints of losing a perfect attendance record crowded social media feeds. Many subway riders had to resort to other forms of transportation such as the public bus, bikes, taxis, or even walking and many arrived to work late.
In response, the Metro Company issued on Weibo that passengers could feel free to print out a report of the subway’s delays as evidence to be excused for being late to work.
[Images via news.sina.com]