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Torrential Rain Knocks out New Beijing Subway Line for 3 Hours

Beijing's new subway Line 5 was closed for three hours on Friday after heavy rains resulted in water leaking into one of the main stations.

The Beijing Meteorological Bureau issued a rainstorm warning at 8:00 PM, and predicted a precipitation of more than 50 millimeters with lightning and wind gusts for the ensuing six hours.

The massive downpours resulted in rain water flowing into the underground subway coordination office in the low-lying Chongwenmen Station, a transit station for Line 2.

The subway company cutting electricity to the line for safety reasons, and the operation between the southern end of Songjiazhuang to the Lama Temple Station was suspended.

Sand bags and cotton quilts were piled up at the entrances where the water was coming into the station, and normal operation resumed at 11:00 PM after the water was stopped.

Line 5 was opened to the public in October last year and runs for 27 kilometers north-south across the city.

Operation of the other lines of the Beijing Subway were not affected.

The torrential rain also caused traffic jams in the city. Monitors at the municipal traffic administration showed lines of vehicles at some sections of the second and third ring roads in downtown Beijing even as late as at 10:35 PM on Friday.

(Xinhua News Agency July 5, 2008)

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