By Kim Tae-jong
A KTX high-speed train made an emergency stop inside a tunnel Sunday morning, apparently due to a glitch in its motor system, paralyzing Seoul-bound railway traffic for about an hour, railway officials said.
It is the latest in a series of stoppage and delays for the bullet train due to technical problems.
The problem occurred at around 11 a.m. as a KTX-Sancheon bound for Seoul from Busan came to a halt inside Hwanghak Tunnel in Gimcheon, North Gyeongsang Province, according to train operator Korail.
“We immediately dispatched our emergency repair team to fix the motor system. We have resumed operation of the train,” a Korail spokesman said.
Due to the breakdown, all KTX services bound for Seoul were also delayed one hour.
While the repair crew fixed the problem, some 400 passengers aboard the train were forced to wait without being properly informed about the situation.
“We only heard an announcement saying the train had stopped due to a problem with the motor,” a passenger said. “We didn’t know what was going on for about an hour.”
He also complained that the passengers had to endure high temperatures in the train as the air conditioning system was not working.
This incident comes just two days after another KTX-Sancheon train made an emergency stop near Miryang Station in South Gyeongsang Province.
A growing number of commuters and travelers are now questioning the safety of the bullet train amid a series of accidents.
One of the worst incidents was the derailment of a KTX train near Gwangmyeong Station in Gyeonggi Province in February.