A woman plays with her mobile phone as she waits for doors to open and free her locks.
For a lot of underground urban commuters, subway doors are more than just gates taking them from point A to point B. It's a moving trap, whose threat is amplified during rush hours. A fatal accident always seems to be seconds away every single time someone tries to squeeze themselves in the carriage just moments before the doors shut closed – but it's a risk some don't mind taking.
Although life-threatening accidents caused by subway doors are a rarity, the risk of a mishap is still there, waiting for the right moment to happen. A woman in south China's Guangdong Province learned how much of a headache commuting can be, especially when one does not follow common safety measures.
On Wednesday, a Chinese woman got her hair stuck between subway doors as she pushed her way into a crowded subway car during peak hour at Zhujiang Xincheng station of line 5 in Guangzhou.
The lady's hair was pinched from the roots, making it hard for her to yank it out. Eye witnesses said the unidentified woman was unable to move and cried for help. To make things worse, she was not be able to free herself at the next stop, as the doors for the remainder of the trip would only open at the other side.
Later on, subway staff members came for help, but the girl refused their suggestion to cut her tresses off. To avoid disrupting the normal operation of the city's underground system, the train kept running while the girl waited patiently to be released, playing on her mobile phone, and not seeming affected the least by the sticky situation.
Six stops later, the operator of the train opened the door and, at last, she and her locks were freed.
The management of Guangzhou subway later commented on the incident, saying it would have taken a full set of procedures to open the door while the subway was in operation, to ensure that safety of all passengers would not have been compromised.
It also said that although subway doors have a precautionary system in place to prevent people from getting stuck, the possibility of smaller objects getting caught without activating the alarm still exists.