When nature calls, sometimes it’s an urge you can’t control, and no matter where you are or what you’re doing, finding a toilet fast becomes a top priority. That’s what happened to a student in Japan recently, who went to the toilet with stomach pains at a train station in Kumamoto, and while he was relieved to have found a public toilet when he needed it, he came out to find he was in another predicament — he was now locked inside the premises.
The incident occurred on Oct 16, when the last train departed at Fujisakigu-mae Station in Kumamoto City’s Chuo Ward.
After finding himself locked inside the building, the student began tweeting for help live on Twitter at around 11:30 p.m., sharing photos and videos of him attempting to open the shutters at the exit with his hand. The student hurriedly explained the situation in a series of tweets, saying:
“I’m completely trapped in the station. When I was in the toilet because of a stomachache, a staff member came and said they were closing but I said 'Hang on a moment' and now this is what happened. What’s going on? Seriously.”
The tweets, which have since been made private, went on to say:
“The only way I can get out is by jumping the fence. I’ll have to enter a prohibited area.”
▼ There is a fence beside the platform at the station, although it looks like a privately owned property lies on the other side of it.
People quickly replied to the tweets with practical advice on how to best handle the situation, with some even suggesting he contact the police. However, at 12:22 a.m., the student updated his Twitter account with the following message: “I got out! I got out! I can go home now!!!”
While it’s unclear how he managed to escape from the shuttered-up station, the student warned everyone to be careful of these types of situations, saying he was cold and mentally exhausted after the ordeal. He also went on to say:
“The station official who came to check the toilet was locking up when I got out of the toilet and we made eye contact. So of course I thought I was still able to get out. When I headed over (to the exit), the shutter was closed. When I rushed back to where the staff member had been, he wasn’t there anymore. This means that I was intentionally trapped, doesn’t it? It’s a house arrest, isn’t it?”
Despite the student’s claim that the shut-in was intentional, Kumamoto Electric Railway made a statement on Oct 18, apologizing for the error and citing the cause as “lack of confirmation” by staff. They said: “From now on, we will enforce patrolling confirmation rules at the close of business, for both our employees and subcontractors, to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Throughout Japan, stations typically close their shutters after the last train of the day, so it’s vital that employees complete thorough checks to ensure no commuters are left on the premises. However, if you find yourself at a platform with no entrance or exit, or staff for that matter, then it’s up to you to make sure you don’t get left behind by the last train. Because in the middle of nowhere, that would cause major problems.
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