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Rat on a train: Rodent causes stampede on Taipei MRT during rush hour

2 injured as passengers scramble to other carriages and chaos ensues as some mistake it for repeat of Taipei Metro attack seen four years ago

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(PTT image)

(PTT image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- During the morning rush hour on Wednesday, a train bound for Xiangshan on the Tamsui-Xinyi line was said to have suffered a strange stampede which left at least two passengers injured, and the culprit is suspected to be a rogue rodent.

According to media reports, at 9:04 a.m. Wednesday, after departing Daan Park Station, passengers in the crowded train apparently spotted a rat on the move, which caused some terrified commuters to scream and scurry the next carriage. Passengers with no knowledge of the rodent in the next car also noticed horrified throngs fleeing to other carriages.

Some uninformed passengers reportedly started to spread a rumor that an attack similar to the 2014 Taipei Metro MRT attack was taking place. In less than a minute, a chain reaction spread across the train, causing panic and a full-fledged stampede among the rush hour commuters.

Some reportedly fell to the ground while running. Several passengers posted images of the aftermath of the chaos on social media, and the incident was soon confirmed by the Taipei Metro company.

Photos of notebooks, shoes, bags, smartphones, drinks strewn about on the floor of the train soon surfaced on various local media outlets. The metro company confirms one injury, while Apple Daily reported two passengers as having been injured from the stampede.

As the train approached Daan Station, passengers on the train scrambled to get off, knocking over some people queuing for the train in the process, according to Apple Daily. A video showed the mess after the incident and blood-like stains on the floor.

The Tamsui-Xinyi line has resumed to normal operations within three minutes after the incident, but the train involved in the incident has been taken in for cleaning. Hundreds of passengers were affected by the incident.

UDN reported that rats have been known to lurk on Taipei metro trains, but this is the first known-incident during rush hour.

Rat on a train: Rodent causes stampede on Taipei MRT during rush hour
(PTT image)

During the 2014 Taipei Metro attack, four train passengers were killed and two dozen were injured. Many passengers who survived the deadly attack were left with lasting psychological trauma.