Passengers were evacuated from a high-speed rail train yesterday morning after suspect items were found in one of the train’s toilets, Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp (THSRC, 台灣高鐵) said yesterday.
The company said the conductor on train No. 616 received complaints from passengers at about 9:10am that the women’s toilet in cabin No. 11 contained two pieces of luggage which emitted a strange odor. The company informed the High Speed Rail Police Division, which later boarded the train when it stopped at Hsinchu station.
The traffic control center decided to evacuate passengers after the train stopped at Taoyuan station at 9:45am. More than 600 people were asked to disembark and continue their journey on another train.
Police found that the luggage contained an unidentified liquid in cans and alarm clocks, as well as white particulate matter. The items were later dismantled by the bomb squad and taken to the Criminal Investigation Bureau for further examination.
Ku Jung-tseng (古榮增), deputy director of the High Speed Rail Police Division, said no detonator was found.
The police also said that they would review surveillance tapes to identify any possible suspects.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) was on the train when the incident occurred.
“After the inspection, they [the police] discovered that there were items of luggage reeking of gasoline,” Lu said.
“I heard that they questioned every passenger in the cabin trying to find out who the owner of the luggage was, but no one admitted to it,” Lu said.
THSRC spokesperson Tao Ling-yu (陶令瑜) said all passengers affected by the incident would be given a coupon allowing them to purchase a high-speed ticket for their next journey at half price, even though the train company was not to blame for the incident.