Man allegedly threatens to kill passengers in packed train in N. Taiwan

Police said man seems to be suffering from psychological disorder, released him after no weapons found

Train packed with people returning home for Dragon Boat Festival. 

Train packed with people returning home for Dragon Boat Festival.  (CNA photo)

17:45 Update: The police found the person who posted the call for help on social media, announcing that this person revised their statement to having only heard Gu murmur to himself and without a death threat. The passenger will face a stiff fine for spreading panic, according to the police.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A dramatic scene took place Thursday morning (June 25), the first day of the Dragon Boat holiday, when a man allegedly threatened to kill his fellow passengers on a packed southbound train as it passed through Taoyuan.

An unknown person claiming to be a passenger on Tze-Chiang Express train 103 posted a call for help on social media at around 7 a.m., saying a male passenger in the same cabin was shouting that he intended to "kill every passenger on board."

Reports said the train conductor and police later confirmed that they had received complaints but let the man go free after he denied the claim.

The 39-year-old man, surnamed Gu (古), was reported by other passengers for making the death threat and was asked to leave the train when it arrived at Taoyuan's Zhongli Station. Gu, who was described as emotionally unstable, denied the accusation when questioned by police, saying that he "was only talking to himself" and that he had not said "any word to harm other passengers."

The conductor told the police that he had not heard the alleged statement about "killing passengers" during the trip and that he had lost track of the passenger who reported the incident. Police said Gu appeared to be suffering from a psychological disorder and that he was released after no weapons were found on him.

Passage was arranged for Gu on another southbound train after the interrogation. An investigation into the authenticity of the social media post is underway.