Subway troubles blamed on electrical problem

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Subway troubles blamed on electrical problem


Numerous commuters scramble to get on a bus near Sindorim Station yesterday, as subway line No. 2 stopped in its tracks during the morning rush hour. The problem was blamed on a malfunctioning overhead electrical wire. By Kang Jung-hyun

Two trains on subway line No. 2 in Seoul stopped operating temporarily yesterday morning because an overhead wire that powers the trains malfunctioned, officials said.

Seoul Metro said bitter cold weather could have caused the problem.

One train stopped at 6:50 a.m. en route from Mullae Station to Yeongdeungpo-gu Office Station. Seoul Metro immediately mobilized mechanics and finished repair work at 7:40 a.m. The train restarted right after.

But at 8:05 a.m., another train stopped at the same spot and a repair team worked for 35 minutes until the train restarted.

Meanwhile, all trains between Sindorim Station and Hongik University Station were ordered to stop until the repair work was completed.

The single problem spot caused a long back up on line No. 2 and it was 9:30 a.m. before all trains were operating as usual.

“The electricity line, which provides power to the train, seems to have had a problem,” said Sim Jae-chang, an electricity-team official at Seoul Metro. “The exact reason the trains halted hasn’t been clarified yet, although we assume the cold spell caused the problem.”

Commuters, trying to get from place to place during rush hour, complained about the service disruption.

“I was stuck for almost 40 minutes,” said Kim Seong-min, 32. “When the train restarted, I got off the train [at the next station] right away and got out to take a cab. But there were so many people like me [outside] so it was not easy to get a cab.”

Seoul Metro said yesterday that it will issue certificates for all commuters in the stopped trains, as long as they prove they were late for work because of the malfunction.

“We will conduct further inspections on the two trains and electricity lines tonight, after all subway operations finish,” said Kim Ran, a Seoul Metro public relations official.

By Kim Hee-jin []

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