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Man hits emergency button on train in Japan after passenger coughs without mask

This photo shows a Fukuoka City Subway sign. (Mainichi/Hiroko Esashi)

FUKUOKA -- A train in this southwestern Japan city was delayed by several minutes on the evening of Feb. 18, after a passenger hit an emergency button because someone else was coughing without wearing a mask.

The trouble on the Fukuoka City Subway train is believed to have erupted as the passenger was on edge due to the increasing number of new coronavirus cases in Japan.

The Fukuoka City Transportation Bureau said a passenger on a four-car train traveling between Tenjin-minami and Hashimoto stations on the Nanakuma Line pressed an emergency notification button at about 8 p.m. on Feb. 18, connecting the train with the bureau. A man then reported, "There's a person coughing and they're not wearing a mask."

The driver and a stationmaster hurried to the carriage after the train stopped at Befu Station, and had two people who were arguing step out onto the platform. The pair, who had been sitting next to each other, made amends after getting out of the train.

The incident resulted in a delay of three minutes as the driver dealt with the incident.

A transportation bureau representative commented, "We'd like to ask people to refrain from pushing the emergency notification button just because there is someone without a mask. We're calling on passengers to show proper manners when they cough, and want to publicize this more."

(Japanese original by Kenta Somatani, Kyushu News Department)

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