Security boosted at capital's subway amid safety campaign

Updated: 2014-07-01 07:38

By Cao Yin (China Daily)

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Security boosted at capital's subway amid safety campaign

A gasoline-sniffing dog works at the Wangfujing subway station in Beijing on Monday.[Ouyang Xiaofei/For China Daily]

Security checkpoints at Beijing subway stations are being upgraded following several deadly attacks across the country targeting civilians.

About 1,200 police officers were dispatched to the city's 17 subway lines on Monday to inspect security facilities and staff. At around 9:30 am, about 20 police officers inspected Wangfujing station on Line 1, making sure items such as fire extinguishers were working properly and reminding staff members to keep the exits clear.

Such inspections should be regular and anti-terrorism drills will be conducted frequently, said Tan Quan, deputy head of the traffic corps of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

"We require each station to increase the number of inspectors, ask them to master new security technology, including explosion-proof devices and dangerous liquid detectors, and allocate police dogs," Tan said.

Chen Jihong, a security inspector at the Wangfujing station, said 40 security staff members have been added to each work shift. "Now, our station can operate the security checks via devices and human power at the same time, which means we need to be familiar with the security devices and identify explosives," Chen said.

Currently, nine stations use comprehensive checks - searching bags by hand and with scanners. That number will reach 56 by the end of the year, the traffic corps added.

"If we find something wrong during the security check, we'll call two police officers on patrol in our station and then stop the inspection to help evacuate passengers," Chen said.

All police in the stations must be armed with guns, batons and shields while on duty, according to one of the police officers in charge of Wangfujing station.

"Other professional anti-terrorism and explosion-proof devices that cannot be carried will be stored in the station's office," added the police officer, who declined to be named.

Police dogs, including those that can identify flammable materials such as gasoline, are being used at busy stations and transfer points.