January 2, 2008 / 10:14 AM / 10 years ago

Beijing deploys sniffer dogs in subways

<p>Passengers crowd into a train inside a station of the new Subway Line Number 5 in Beijing October 7, 2007. Beijing will deploy about 80 sniffer dogs to patrol the subway system to sniff out flammable products such as fireworks before the Chinese New Year next month, state media reported on Wednesday.Jason Lee</p>

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing will deploy about 80 sniffer dogs to patrol the subway system to sniff out flammable products such as fireworks before the Chinese New Year next month, state media reported on Wednesday.

"The security patrol ahead of the festival will be good practice for the police dogs ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games later this year," the official Xinhua news agency quoted police officer Wang Ning as saying.

Eight dogs have already started patrolling five downtown stations, Xinhua said.

The government normally launches campaigns ahead of the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 7 this year, telling people not to bring fireworks or firecrackers onto public transport and often using lurid photos of accidental explosions to drive home the point.

The Beijing subway is one of the busiest in the world and set a record daily ridership of 2.89 million passengers on November 16.

Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Ben Blanchard

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