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Beijing to tighten subway safety
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Beijing's Metro authorities may require passengers to take a sip of their drink before they are allowed to take any beverage bottle onto subway trains, Beijing News reported today.

The new requirement, which has already been implemented in several subway stations in the capital, is meant to ensure safety, the report said.

But the requirement will only be carried out when scanning devices fail to identify a liquid, the report said.

It remains unknown if this will be compulsory at all Metro stations, the report said, citing a source with the Beijing Public Security Bureau.

Some passengers expressed concern that this new safety check will aggravate commuters during rush hours, the report said.

Police have redoubled efforts to improve security inspections on the city's five subway routes as police dogs, safety doors and security scanners will be introduced by next month.

Meanwhile, police reiterated that people may be detained for between five and 15 days if they bring any combustible item on to buses, a director of the General Team of Traffic Police told the newspaper.

Police will reward individuals providing information about passengers carrying flammable items onto public transport. Police can be reached on (010) 64011327.

Police have seized about 2,000 banned items at the capital's transport hubs between January and April, of which more than 600 were flammable, the report said.

(Shanghai Daily May 9, 2008)

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