China.org.cn interviewed Jia Peng, director of publicity for the Beijing Subway Operation Co. Ltd, on July 9, 2008
With the Olympic Games approaching, Beijing has been intensifying its security preparations. Since June 29, formal safety inspections have been made on the subway system, one of Beijing's most important modes of transport. X-ray machines, police officers and police dogs have all been put into use. How is Beijing intensifying its safety measures in order to welcome the Olympics? On July 9, Jia Peng, director of publicity for the Beijing Subway Operation Co. Ltd, accepted an interview by China.org.cn and discussed in detail measures for subway safety.
Many people said that a number of "big machines," that is, X-ray machines, have been seen in the Beijing subways recently. Are these big machines prepared for the upcoming Olympic Games?
Yes. In order to reach the goal of a safe Olympics, our Beijing subway system has been carrying out full-scale safety inspections on the five operating lines since June 29. Machine inspections have been added to the manual inspections and police dogs' check. The inspections will cover a much wider range, as well as being more targeted and accurate.
With regard to passengers' baggage, bulky items have to be inspected while small ones will be selectively checked, in case one of the eight categories of prohibited items is carried into the subway. This measure, ensuring safety on the subway, has been well understood and recognized. Passengers are all cooperating with it.
How many machines have been added in Beijing?
As of June 29, 186 X-ray machines had been mounted at the 93 stations along the five subway lines. These machines are exactly what people see at the airport or railway station. Passengers put their bulky baggage on the conveyor belt before entering the station. Screeners will also check items in parcels if necessary. If something is found to be wrong, the police will deal with it immediately.
So far, not all of the over 180 X-ray machines have been put into use, since some are still being debugged. At places where such machines haven't been put into use, screeners will make inspections with instruments in hand, that is, metal detectors. In this way, some metal items can be detected in bulky baggage, and small baggage can also be selectively checked. Such inspections are more random and convenient.
The third kind of inspection instrument is a liquid detector. When passengers come into the subway, all liquids except those for drinking will be inspected. After detection, and according to the judgment of the instrument, screeners can identify whether the liquid you have is dangerous.
The fourth category is a kind of detector aimed at explosives. It is like a hand-held vacuum cleaner. After metal detectors discover a suspicious item, a detector used for explosives will make the actual detection. Then the public security staff will deal with it. They will put it into an explosion-proof tank and professionals will dispose of it.
Therefore, application of the four categories of machines can reduce dangers to a certain degree, since some passengers may carry one of the eight kinds of prohibited items into the station due to their ignorance. Such inspections can ensure safety of all passengers.