Thu, Jul 05, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Rat sends MRT riders fleeing

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Passengers return to an MRT train to look for their belongings after a rat snuck onto the train at Daan Forest Park Station and caused panic yesterday morning.

Photo courtesy of Bao Fei Gong She

A rat sighting sent more than 100 Taipei Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system passengers fleeing in panic yesterday, leaving a trail of shoes, bags and other personal belongings as they rushed for the exit.

The incident occurred on a train bound for MRT Xiangshan Station (象山站) on the Tamsui-Xinyi Line (淡水信義線), also known as the Red Line, at about 9am.

“Many people suddenly started screaming and running. It was like a scene from Train to Busan as people pushed each other and an elderly man fell down,” a witness said in a post on Professional Technology Temple — the nation’s largest online academic bulletin board system.

Train to Busan was a hit South Korean zombie action thriller that takes place on a train.

Many people thought it was another random attack targeting MRT passengers, the witness said.

Photographs and videos posted online showed the empty train with a few bags, more than a dozen shoes, spilled beverages and other items scattered on the floor of the train and station platform.

MRT operator Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) issued a news release saying that the incident occured at 9:04am near MRT Daan Forest Park Station (大安森林公園站), and that the control center had immediately informed the approximately 700 passengers on the train to disembark at the next station — Daan (大安站) — and wait for the next train as station staff tried to calm the passengers.

Two riders were mildly injured during the stampede, the company said.

Station staff called an ambulance to take the injured passengers to hospital, it said.

People who left their personal belongings during the incident can retrieve them at Daan Station, it said.

TRTC in the afternoon confirmed that surveillance footage of the incident showed a 10cm-long rat entering the train at MRT Daan Forest Park Station and alighting at Daan Station.

As of press time last night, the rat had not been found, the company said.

The company keeps stations and trains clean at all times and has installed rat and cockroach-catching devices in stations, which catch an average of three to five rats every month, it said.

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