The most damage is caused by door jamming accidents.
Sensor inspection once a month… “We need to increase the number of times”
The more passengers transfer at Sadang Station, the more accidents happen.
“Relieving platform congestion must be a top priority”
Mr. Park (27), who uses Seoul Subway Chungmuro Station on his way to work, often experiences dizzying moments. He said it was because of passengers running up the stairs to transfer. Chungmuro Station, where transfers can be made by going up and down just one flight of stairs, becomes chaotic with people running toward the subway whenever the Line 4 and Line 3 trains arrive similarly. Mr. Park said, “It is everyday to bump into passengers who are trying to transfer immediately, and I also often see cases where passengers’ bodies or objects get caught in the door.”
Although subway safety accidents continue to occur, facility inspections and citizens’ insensitivity to safety are still at a standstill. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Government on the 12th, a total of 2,485 people were injured in safety accidents on Seoul Subway Lines 1 to 9 from 2019 to July 2023. The actual number of accidents is expected to be higher as this figure only includes users who have received medical treatment fees for safety accidents that occurred within the station premises, platforms, doors, and trains, excluding their own fault or the fault of a third party while using the subway.
Among the types of safety accidents, door jamming accidents are the most common. This is why strengthening door sensors is often mentioned as a solution. According to the Seoul Transportation Corporation on this day, screen doors are regularly inspected for each facility at 7 days, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year. Screen door sensors and door opening/closing status are inspected once a month.
However, analysis suggests that more thorough management is needed as sensor errors can lead to serious accidents. On the 12th of last month, an office worker in his 20s got caught between the screen door and the train while trying to board a train at Sadang Station.
The Seoul Transportation Corporation announced that it was unable to recognize the presence of people due to an error in the door opening/closing detection system. The two sensors that control the safety door simultaneously sent the ‘train departure possible’ and ‘person detected’ signals, respectively, but at that time, only the ‘train departure’ signal was processed and the train departed. Lee Song-gyu, president of the Korea Safety Professionals Association, said, “Even if a door gets stuck just once, it can lead to major damage,” and argued, “We need to inspect facilities more regularly and improve old facilities.”
There is also a view that improving subway congestion should be prioritized. In fact, the stations with the most injuries over the past five years are those crowded with passengers transferring, such as Sadang on Line 2 (64 people), Dongdaemun History and Culture Park on Line 4 (49 people), Sindorim (39 people), and Chungmuro (31 people). It was.
Jeong-hoon Yoo, a professor at Ajou University (Department of Transportation Systems Engineering), emphasized, “Preventing accidents through sensor detection at train doors is the final step,” and added, “It is important to manage congestion to prevent dangerous situations.” He continued, “Overseas, there is a policy of checking the level of congestion at the ticket gate and controlling it from the entrance,” and suggested, “We need to come up with a plan to manage the number of people in the subway during crowded times by linking it with other means of public transportation such as buses.”
There are also voices saying that citizens should be aware of safety accidents themselves. Since most safety accidents occur due to excessive boarding and disembarking, the Seoul Transportation Corporation is promoting safety rules when using the subway.
Chairman Lee said, “Safety ignorance is not recognizing that if you overdo it and get on the subway, you could end up stuck, and safety insensitivity is a condition in which you think that an accident will not happen.” He added, “In the case of subway accidents, both safety awareness is lacking. “I can see it,” he said.
Reporter Ahn Kyung-jun [email protected]
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