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July 22, 2017

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THSR responds to mysterious warning of imminent danger

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan High Speed Rail confirmed yesterday that it had received a clandestine phone call a day earlier, warning that something unfortunate might happen in the next 24 hours.

The anonymous call, which was switched to customer service, said something bad might happen in the Zuoying Station between 6 p.m. on the 18th and 7 p.m. on the 19th without giving further details.

The call was made by a woman, who suggested that the railway authority take precautionary measures. The woman was asked to leave her name and phone number, but she said in response "heavenly secrets may not be disclosed" and hung up the phone.

The railway authority did not take the call lightly and reported the call to the police. Extra security forces and personnel were then dispatched not only to the Zuoying station but to all other stations on the railway line.

It turned out, however, that it was a false alarm. After being notified of the incident, the police filtered incoming calls and traced the anonymous call to a residence in Pingtung and a woman surnamed Chen.

 The woman, who is 72 years old, was immediately escorted to a local police station for investigation. According to Chen, she never meant to threaten the railway system and was giving the warning for public safety.

 According to Chen, she sensed something ominous at the Zuoying Station during her meditation, and her warning for precaution was mistaken as a threat.

 Chen said there were many "creditors from past lives" hovering at the station, which may pose danger to train drivers. She said it would be against her conscience not to report the danger.

 The police said Chen has no medical history of mental disorder. Chen is currently unemployed and spends most of her time learning Buddhism and practicing meditation at home.

 It just so happened that a male student was carrying a Chinese weapon, a long crescent blade, into the High Speed Rail yesterday. He was stopped by railway staff and in the end, the weapon was transported as cargo on the train. The passenger only carried the weapon to attend a martial arts exchange event, according to a local source.

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