Two injured in stampede on Taipei train over a rat

Belongings strewn on the floor of the train, left behind by commuters after they fled to another carriage when they spotted the rat.
Belongings strewn on the floor of the train, left behind by commuters after they fled to another carriage when they spotted the rat.PHOTO: TAIWAN NEWS

TAIPEI • Two passengers were injured in a stampede caused by a 10cm-long rat on a rapid transit train in Taiwan, Taipei Rapid Transit officials said.

In a statement, officials said the incident occurred at 9am local time on Wednesday aboard a train departing from Daan Park Station in the direction of Xiangshan Station.

Some passengers screamed and attempted to flee into the next carriage when they spotted the rat.

This caused other passengers, who were not aware of the rat, to panic, leading to a stampede.

Bags, shoes and spilled drinks were strewn on the floor of the train in photos and videos posted to social media.

Officials assisted about 700 passengers to transfer to another train at the next stop, Daan Station. Train service was delayed by 3 1/2 minutes.

Between three and five rats are caught in Taipei train stations each month, officials added. This is because many stations are located adjacent to food and beverage outlets, which are attractive breeding spots for pests.

According to local newspaper Apple Daily, some netizens described the incident as reminiscent of scenes from the 2016 South Korean horror zombie movie Train To Busan.

Officials said they had not caught the rat in this incident, but would continue to step up sanitation and measures to prevent pests from entering stations and trains.

Some measures mentioned in the statement included the use of traps and physical barriers, such as metal mesh placed over drainage pipes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2018, with the headline 'Two injured in stampede on Taipei train over a rat'. Print Edition | Subscribe