Posted January. 03, 2005 22:50,
A large-scale accident resembling the Daegu subway accident was barely avoided on the first workday of the new year.
An arsonist in his fifties set fire on a Line 7 Seoul Subway commuter train, burning three trains on January 3. The incident halted the trains for three hours, causing a traffic jam, but no lives were lost as passengers fled for safety.
According to the police and the Seoul City Subway Authority, at approximately 7:12 a.m., a man in his fifties spread newspapers on the seats of train 7017 of Line 7, departing from Garibong and bound for Cheolsan (conducted by Geum Chang-sung, 37), and began to spray an inflammable material on the sheets.
The fire spread to the walls of the train as well as on the hair of some of the passengers, causing burns on Yun Soon-ja (66, female). No further casualties ensued as most of the passengers got off as the train stopped at Cheolsan, while some quenched the fire with a fire hose.
The subway authorities induced all the passengers to get off at the Gwangmyung crossways station, right after the Cheolsan station, and after bringing the fire under control, they drove the train to Onsu without stopping. But the firefighters had a difficult time setting the fire out at the final station, which started up again, burning three trains in the process.
The days fire halted trains between Boramae and Onsu stations on both sides until 10:45 a.m., while chaos followed as 500 passengers claimed refunds.
The police are searching for the suspect aided by witnesses and the CCTV located on the subway trains.