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Fire alarm forces Taipei subway passengers to hit the tracks

New Taipei City police, fire department respond to fire at Taoyuan Airport MRT station

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FIrefighters respond to Taoyuan MRT fire alarm on Oct. 16, 2023. (CNA photo)

FIrefighters respond to Taoyuan MRT fire alarm on Oct. 16, 2023. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A fire alarm at the Taoyuan Airport MRT forced hundreds of stranded passengers to disembark an immobilized train and walk the tracks on Monday (Oct. 16).

New Taipei City police and fire department received a report at 8:47 p.m. about a fire at Taoyuan Airport MRT A5 Taishan Station. When they arrived, they found that the fire alarm was activated in the machine room on the second floor.

The alarm caused a train to suddenly stop near Taishan Guhe Station. Hundreds of passengers had to venture along a walkway next to the tracks to evacuate the station.

A total of 15 vehicles and 46 personnel from the police and fire departments were dispatched to the scene. Responders found that there was no apparent smoke or fire outside the machine room.

They said that the fire suppression system in the machine room released an inert gas used for firefighting. Therefore, they had to wait outside the machine room until the gas dispersed before entering to assess the situation.

By the time they accessed the room to inspect it, it was 9:51 p.m. They noted that the alarm had been triggered in the electrical machine room.

They said when the machine room activated the fire suppression system, trains on a portion of the MRT's track stopped running. One of the trains was heading from Taishan Station toward A6 Taishan Guhe Station but stopped 400 meters from the station.

With the assistance of the emergency responders, Taoyuan MRT personnel organized stranded passengers and guided them towards Taishan Guhe Station. Taoyuan MRT Control Center said 120 people were evacuated and no one was injured.