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Smoke from cigarette butts stops 2 Tokyo subway lines

26 Comments

Subway trains on the Namboku Line of Tokyo Metro and Mita Line of Toei were stopped for 80 minutes on Monday night due to smoke stemming from cigarette butts abandoned by train staff, the two companies said Tuesday.

According to the companies, smoke was detected at 6 p.m. near Shirokane-Takanawa station where the Namboku Line and Mita Line intersect. About 1,300 passengers were evacuated from the station and the platform was closed for 80 minutes. More than 41,000 commuters were affected, said the two subway operators.

The authorities said they found a lot of abandoned cigarette butts along the tracks, which caused the smoke. They said an initial investigation showed that maintenance staff had been abandoning cigarette butts on the side of the tracks on a regular basis.

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26 Comments
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Idiots. I bet they smoke cigarettes produced by JT.

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JT Jomuin(trainman) Tobacco jamped tracks? quite believable in Japan.

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I bet many travellers were fuming!

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I hope they get off their butts and pick these up

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Ha, good ol smudge pots.

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ahhhh smoking CLEAN!!!!!

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Their butts should be kicked!

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nice portrait of the truth here.

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Hahaha. Smoking is going with manners. Like drinking wine.

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41,000 commuters affected? Bet these these maintenance guys' bosses are fuming, too. These guys better hope their bosses don't just decide to smoke them all, particularly in the current smoldering economic climate. And the rest of the maintenance staff is certain to be on notice from here on out out. After all, where there's smoke, there's certain to be fire, right? In any casse, it's a sure bet this story'll light up the morning meeting for days to come, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them kissing their butts goodbye at Tokyo Metro and Toei within the month.

Okay, I'm spent.

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If this has been going on for some time the contractors should get their contract cancelled. It was cigarette ends that caused the fire at Kings Cross on the London Underground. 30 odd dead and many more injured, what sort of a lesson do these people need?

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"Abandoned"?!?

"Discarded" would be appropriate.

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Will smokers intrusion on the rights of non-smokers ever end here?

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Will smokers intrusion on the rights of non-smokers ever end here?

how about the % of smokers who had their lives disrupted by a couple of thoughtless jerks. Its not the fact that they are smokers, its the fact the they were irresponsible. Not all smokers are irresponsible just like not all non smokers are beyond being irresponsible.

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Gee, do you think maybe a little investigation on Somebody's part would have uncovered these smoking butts Before they stopped the trains? Like, 'Hey, there's smoke over there. Run over and see what it is. I'll keep my finger on the Stop All Trains button.' Smokin' Clean!

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I don't mind if people clog their lungs with tar. As long as they do it in the privacy of their own plastic bubble

I don't mind if people drive cars as long as the exhaust fumes are redirected into the car and inhaled by the occupants.

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As for butts catching fire, my housemate a few years ago used to smoke on the balcony and let a large ashtray fill up with butts. Once we hit the dry winter weather, all it took was a strong wind and I had to go out and put out a fire with flames about a metre high which almost reached our laundry. Quite dangerous to let them pile up anywhere.

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Smoking should once again be banned on train platforms/subways, and maybe this time enforced. $5000 fine to anyone caught smoking... BOTTOM LINE.

Moderator: Readers, this thread is not about the pros and cons of smoking.

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This news is about irresponsible staff, not if cigarettes are good or harmful.

Moderator: Exactly.

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Hmmm, moral education in Japan? You've got to be kidding right? These bastards should all have to pay compensation to every one of the 41,000 people that were affected by the stoppage. It's very easy to obtain DNA samples from ciggy butts. Track these idiots down and make them pay! BTW, I was one of the 41,000 delayed by this.

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This happens as far as we are in Japan.

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sigh - did I not just comment on the post about JR stopping smoking in stations and nearby that the same needs to apply to the Underground (sorry metro, subway whatever). I just have two words for them "King's Cross"

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And it takes 80 minutes to discover that the smoke comes from cigarette butts, to extinguish it and to start things rolling again ???? Maybe some time is spent exchanging "meishi" between firemen and subway staff...

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nearly 200 dead in a subway fire in Korea in 2003(arson in that case but with fire and smoke in an isolated area how it starts makes little difference). Didn't take long for people to forget and go back to being idiots.

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So who cleans up after the maintainance guys? They should ban smoking on the site.

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nearly 200 dead in a subway fire in Korea in 2003(arson in that case but with fire and smoke in an isolated area how it starts makes little difference).

The horrific Kings Cross underground station fire in London was caused by a smouldering cigarette. You'd think maintenance workers would have more sense....

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