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New Taipei tries to move on from metro trauma
Central News Agency
2014-05-25 10:40 PM
Taipei, May 25 (CNA) Flowers, cards from well-wishers and small candles dotted the metro system's Jiangzicui Station in New Taipei Sunday, four days after a knife-wielding student left four people dead, 24 others injured and a whole community trying to recover from post-traumatic syndrome. Of the 24 wounded in the May 21 killings on a metro train traveling on the Bannan Line between Longshan Temple Station in Taipei and Jiangzicui Station, 15 remained in hospitals, one of them in critical condition. New Taipei's Public Health Department distributed flowers and mental health information at the station's Exit 3, where the city's psychological counselors were on hand to give free services to anyone seeking them. Young students penned their personal wishes on a big well-wishing card printed with the words that read "Hold your hands and mines, let's go forward in prayer; go Taiwan, go everyone!" They hoped to expel hatred and anxiety and to rebuild trust among the people. Earlier, a campaign was launched to "Give Taiwan a Smile and a Cheering Hug" whose supporters wished that every person will enter into a new phase of their life by showing greater care and concern for one another. Chen Po-feng, a clinical psychotherapist, said if the feeling of scare persists for over a week, it warrants seeking a counseling session with the professionals. "One can also seek support from friends or relatives to reduce one's sense of shock and get a relief from stress," he said. But for a college co-ed who happened to be the first passenger trying to enter the bloody train that day, witnessing the mayhem inside, she said -- according to her mother -- that she would never dare take a metro train again. The mother, surnamed Hsieh who works at the New Taipei City government, said her daughter could not sleep alone for the past few days as she would "hear" cries for help from the passengers in that fatal train. A nurse who escaped from the mad killer's knife and fell on the train in a pool of blood told a city councilor she has been on the verge of mental breakdown and she could not sleep for the past few days. Councilor Lin Kuo-chun said the nurse was stained with the blood of someone slashed to death nearby her and is still suffering from extreme shock, "and her family members have asked me to help arrange a psychological counseling therapy for her." Lin urged Mayor Eric Chu to organize a task force with members from the city's police, fire, health and social service departments to offer psychotherapy services to affected citizens. In spite of the efforts from the authorities and social groups to help people get over the trauma and return to normal life, the number of passengers using the mass rapid transit service at the station has decreased. Metro Taipei statistics show that as of 5 p.m. Sunday, 8,200 persons entered or exited from Jiangzicui Station, 1,300 fewer than the same time on May 18, the previous Sunday. Around 911,000 people used the metro system as of 5 p.m. in the day, some 66,000 shy of the same period of the previous Sunday, the tallies indicate. (By Sunrise Huang, Huang Yi-han and S.C. Chang)
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