Friday, July 6, 2007

Subway Suicide

This is the No.1 most searched keyword on Yahoo China today.

On July 3rd, a man killed himself by jumping in front of an incoming train at the Zhu Jiang station in Nanjing.

This was the first subway suicide in Nanjing since the subway system opened for business in 2005. However, in the close-by city of Shanghai, there ha already been 66 subway suicides since 1995. The problem is not unique to China, in the neighboring South Korea and Japan, subway suicide has always been a major headache for the society. Both countries have tried various tactics to stop the problem, although I couldn't find any reports on the efficacy of these tactics.

(Read this report on S.Korean subway suicide)

Currently in Nanjing, works are underway to install platform safety barriers on both Line 1 and Line 2 to prevent similar accidents from happening again.

Although preventing subway suicide does not necessarily help with the overall suicide rate in the society as people may use other places, it does prevent accidents where people fall off the platform due to pushing and overcrowding, which, if you have been to China, you will know is a possibility.

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