Planet China

Jumping the queue

Long lines at airport security are a typical scene in the US, especially when first-time travellers are unprepared for the requests to take off their jacket and shoes and belts and so forth.

In Beijing security screening at airports and train stations has been getting more stringent as well. That can lead to delays, all the more so at this time of year given that so many travellers have been wearing heavy winter coats in recent weeks.

It seems the wait got so bad that a passenger at the Beijing West Railway Station opted for an extreme shortcut at the security check: he crawled into the conveyor belt of the X-ray machine.

A video posted by state broadcaster CCTV shows the man – in a long winter coat – approaching the security checkpoint. Rather than handing in his bag and taking off his coat, he simply jumps head-first onto the conveyor belt before the rattled security staff can stop the machine.

The footage shows the man emerging from the far side of the X-ray process and heading off down the rollers meant to return baggage to waiting passengers.

The railway network is bracing for a few busy weeks as hundreds of millions of people travel to their hometowns for the Chinese New Year, which begins on January 25. State television said the man and his wife, also rushing back to their hometown, were given a stern warning by security staff, though no further punishment. “I think the man should have his head checked,” one onlooker wrote on weibo. “He has probably just been given 10 [medical] X-rays in one go.”

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