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Subway injury claims on the rise

By Cao Yin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-12-13 20:27

Disputes between subway operators and passengers are increasing, as passenger numbers boom, according to a Beijing court.

Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court released a report on Tuesday showing that grassroots courts in the city's Dongcheng, Xicheng, Fengtai, Fangshan and Daxing districts have handled 63 cases brought by subways since 2011. Of those, the decisions in about one in three were appealed to the intermediate court for a second trial.

Most cases involved allegations that subway operators' carelessness in work contributed to injuries.

Chief judge Zuo Feng, specializes in hearing such civil cases in the intermediate people's court.

"Some passengers came to the courts after they were injured by taking a subway elevator or getting off the train. They asked for compensation, as they thought the operators had not properly carried out their obligations," Zuo said.

"The increasing number of disputes in subways relates much to the fast development of the transportation. With more passengers taking the subway, services and measures in the operation aren't adequately put into practice," he said.

Many injuries were serious "because the subway, compared with bicycles or cars, can bring more impacts when it suddenly brakes," he explained. "In other words, victims suffer more pain and the amount of compensation was bigger."

He added that most injuries took place in rush hours and crowded coaches.

"Effectively handling the increasing passenger flow is a challenge for subway operators, while also reminding residents to enhance security awareness on the subway," Zhang Ke, another judge with the intermediate people's court, said.

"We have suggested subway operators increase patrols day and night and set up an emergency alert to solve problems early. Regular security checks for subway devices are also necessary," Zhang said.

In 2012, the average passenger flow per day broke 7 million trips. The number of trips taken by May this year was more than 11 million, according to data gathered by the court.

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