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Guards patrolling Shanghai metro
By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-19 10:36

A team of 382 security guards have begun patrolling Shanghai's metro system. And one of the main focuses of their jobs will be to cut the rising number of suicides.

A Shanghai resident is rushed to the hospital after jumping in front of an underground train in Shanghai this year. [File Photo]
A Shanghai resident is rushed to the hospital after jumping in front of an underground train in Shanghai this year. [File Photo]

"They will try to stop any attempt to jump on the tracks and if one happens, the guards will be able to give appropriate first-aid assistance," said an official surnamed Zhu from Shanghai Metro.

Previous figures showed an annual suicide rate of eight on the Shanghai underground, but by the first six months of 2004 that figure had already been reached.

In another move to curb the disturbing trend, a programme to install platform doors at all 48 stations is under way.

"The security doors are installed on the edge of the platform to block any approach to the railway track, thus making it impossible to jump on the tracks," said Zhu.

The Shanghai metro carries 1.4 million passengers each day.

Another area of growing concern is the need for effective response measures and trained personnel to deal with a major emergency.

Employed by Shanghai Metro and managed by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, the guards have undergone public security and fire control training.

"Handling emergencies is one of their main focuses," said Zhu.

The task of the new guards is of much wider range than those previously employed by Shanghai Metro who were only responsible for maintaining public order.

Thirty-three of the guards are female and will be on hand to deal with particular problems of women passengers, said Zhu.

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