Foreigner Passes Out on Shanghai Subway, Causes Panic

An unconscious foreigner in a Shanghai Line 2 subway car incited a panic.

An unconscious foreigner in a Shanghai Line 2 subway car incited a panic.

From NetEase:

Foreign Passenger Loses Consciousness in Shanghai Metro, Passengers Run Away Without Any Helping

When a laowai on the Line 2 Metro lost consciousness in his seat, none of the surrounding passengers rendered assistance and instead ran away in a hurry, causing passengers in the subway train cars to the front and back to panic and rush out of the train car door, with one even falling over himself… Yesterday, from the two typical passenger panic case studies published by the Shanghai Metro, this reporter discovered that passengers overreact to sudden incidents, blindly following the crowd, making secondary disasters/problems extremely likely. Metro authorities once again exhorted passengers to not panic, stay calm, and react rationally when encountering situations.

Three train cars of passengers flee after laowai faints

According to surveillance footage, at 9:34pm on the 9th, a male foreign national passenger suddenly but gradually fell over to his right side as the train entered the Jinke Road station, his head practically on the middle-aged woman passenger beside him. Within seconds, he first laid down on the bench and then rolled off onto the floor when the train car braked to reduce speed [entering the station], apparently having lost consciousness.

Witnessing this, five passengers in the seats across from him suddenly got up and fled. In less than 10 seconds, the train car was completely cleared out, leaving only the laowai passed out on the ground. Surveillance video shows that because someone shouted “something’s wrong!”, the passengers in the train cars forward and aft also flocked to get out. One middle-aged male passenger even fell down, but fortunately got back up without being trampled, while another middle-aged woman had run into a screen divider.

When the station platform attendant rushed in, the laowai had already regained consciousness and got up on his own, then exited the train car.

Female passenger’s smoldering mobile phone causes passengers to frantically flee

The other case of passenger panic occurred on Line 8 last month on the 18th. As passengers were boarding, the mobile phone of one middle-aged female passenger in one train car suddenly began emitting smoke. At first, passengers beside her smelled smoke and covered their noses. Then someone said there was a fire, and there was even someone who said an explosion had occurred. At that moment, the train car had not yet closed its doors, and within seconds, passengers fled out through multiple train car doors.

During this exodus, a male youth dropped his mobile phone under the station platform, never to be found again, while two passengers accidentally fell. Ultimately, the female passenger with the smoking mobile phone also exited the train car, but there were no major problem.

Metro officials: Passengers must not blindly follow the crowd when encountering sudden situations

Metro operators expressed that the most worrisome are situations such as crowding, trampling, pushing, falling, and lost property. Frantic fleeing on train cars or station platforms cause secondary disasters/problems, often with effects even worse than the original instigating incident. As a result, Metro authorities call on passengers to not panic, remain calm, and rationally respond or request assistance.

In addition, when a passenger collapses or some other situation, nearby passengers should immediately take notice and provide assistance, as that would also avoid the spread of false information inciting extreme reactions.

Comments from NetEase:

西门大淫 [网易广西南宁市网友]:

Is it because people are afraid of Nanjing judges or afraid of some virus? Looks like our ethics has already completely degenerated!

网易山西省手机网友 ip:117.136.*.*

When a person collapses, they can be helped up, but when human compassion has collapsed, it can never be helped back up.

蔣石介 [网易天津市网友]:

Don’t run. Laowai don’t extort/scam people.

不正常人类研究所主任 [跟贴评论团]:

When human compassion has collapsed, how can it be helped up?

网络小清新 [网易广东省广州市天河区网友]:

A people/nationality that doesn’t even dare help up someone who has passed out yet still has the nerve to call for the extermination of little Japan.

网易北京市手机网友 ip:124.193.*.*

This is an age where people live in fear/apprehension.

网易广东省江门市手机网友 ip:125.92.*.*

Looking at this, I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

黄易UFO [网易北京市手机网友]:

China’s so-called most developed city, most modernized city, has reflected one of the lamentable sides of the country’s people. In China, the more developed the area, the more cold and apathetic the people are, even worse than the villages and rural countryside.

网易马耳他手机网友 ip:88.203.*.*

Should their conscience not be condemned?

网易北京市手机网友 ip:123.121.*.*

Next time when there are not seats in the subway, I’ll just pretend to faint/pass out.

The story of the unconscious foreigner in the Shanghai Line 2 Metro is also a trending #hashtag# on popular Chinese microblogging social network Sina Weibo.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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