Survivors recall horror of being trapped in flooded Zhengzhou subway carriages
Passengers trapped in flooded Metro trains in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, have recounted their horrors at almost drowning when Metro Line 5 was disabled and floodwaters inundated the carriages.
Record storms hit Henan, with the accumulated rainfall reaching 449 mm on average in Zhengzhou from 6pm on Sunday to midnight on Tuesday, flooding its underground subway system on Tuesday night.
A total of 12 people have been killed, and five were injured in the subway system.
A woman rescued from one of the flooded train carriages related her horror experience to Bingdian Weekly.
She recalled that people locked themselves in the train between two subway stations as floodwaters submerged it and flowed into carriages from the back.
Emergency measures of all kinds were taken by the trapped who finally made contact with rescuers after numerous attempts.
Before rescue teams made their way against powerful currents to the flooded train, the situation had already worsened, with water surging up to shoulder height.
"Oxygen was low. Some people began to vomit," the woman recalled. "Children, pregnant women and the elderly suffered the most, losing their strength after staying in the water for a long time," she said.
"You could feel a sense of desperation. I even messaged texts to my family and friends in fear of death."
With despair spreading, people became more disturbed when someone tried to break the windows.
But the tone became calmer as those trapped realised the water level outside the car seemed to be steady and fresh air came in after the windows were carefully smashed.
It was then that rescuers showed up, getting access into the carriages through broken windows and orderly evacuating the crowd by pushing and pulling.
Personnel of all levels were at the site offering necessary assistance.
"We were trapped in that train for approximately four hours and the outside was in such a mess that passengers were faced with different issues," the woman said later.
Another woman who was trapped in the same metro train wrote about her experience on her personal Weibo account on July 21.
"Everyone felt lost when the floodwaters were rising with no stop. It was like a nightmare that we stood on our seats until being submerged by chest-high water," she wrote in her post, adding that many, including herself, were saying their last goodbyes to their loved ones.
When referring to the rescue, she mentioned the joy of the crowd, emphasizing that people were helping each other without reservation.
"It was very methodical with women ahead of men, the weak ahead of the powerful. This incident scared me, but also let me see the beauty of humanity."