Taipei MRT beefs up security after stabbings
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-22 12:42 PM
Authorities quickly announced measures designed to assist victims and reassure passengers on the Taipei MRT system in the wake of the nation’s first incident involving mass random killings. Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin expressed his dismay and regret over Wednesday’s shocking incident and said each of the families of the four who died will receive NT$4 million in insurance while those who were injured will be given medical assistance for at least two weeks. In addition, 80 police officers will be added to the security forces on MRT lines to help avoid any psychological fear or discomfort for passengers.

Mayor Hau said the governments of Taipei City and New Taipei City will coordinate efforts to double their resources in the Taipei MRT system to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents. In areas where MRT may have a shortage of security personnel, reinforcements from the National Police Administration will be brought in as soon as possible to restore security and order on the MRT.

A spokesperson for the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation noted that passengers in the MRT train had notified the control center using the call buttons located in each carriage and police and medical personnel were summoned immediately. Some have criticized the response time as too slow, however, and the company will review its system and procedures to speed up notification and arrival times.

The Presidential Office announced that President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Jiang Yi-huah had been notified of the situation and were following developments. They both expressed their shock and sympathy for victims and their families in the incident.

Presidential spokesperson Ma Weiguo said the government categorically condemns senseless violence, adding that this should be seen as an isolated event which should not let shake public confidence in the safety of public transport. She added the government will send extra police and security personnel to strengthen patrols and protect the safety of passengers and the public.

Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Li-chun pointed out that the suspect in the case, Cheng Chieh, was apprehended, and the NPA will assist local police in determining the motivation behind the stabbings while the Ministry of Health and Welfare will ensure that all victims received adequate medical treatment and care.

Premier Jiang pointed out that the incident highlights the importance of security in the MRT system and other public places. He noted that he has instructed the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Transportation to examine current security procedures in the nation's public transportation systems to ensure the well-being of the public.

Premier Jiang also asked the Ministry of Interior to look at public access to public places where large crowds gather to see where prevention measures and reaction procedures can be improved.

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