Friday, January 14, 2005

A suspect bag

Got on the train this morning at Ruislip, hardly anyone else in the carriage, but two seats away from me was a bulging duffle bag with no obvious owner.

Several thoughts flash through my mind. It's bound to belong to a kid so hand it in. Whoops, how do I know this is not a bomb or something equally unpleasant? And if I summon a station attendant, suppose they halt the train, get everyone off and delay us for an hour or so? Yes, I'll be doing the public-spirited right thing, but given that out of the thousands of bags lost every year none at all turn out to be bombs, the odds are massively in favour of this being a huge waste of time.

I was in the front carriage and normally there is an attendant at the front of the platform at Rayners Lane. So as the doors opened, I heaved it out to him, shouted "This was left behind" and got back in the train before the doors closed. I don't know what rules apply to LT staff looking at suspicious bags, but to his credit he had a quick look inside, saw (I think) that it was clothing, and put it down.

Makes you think though. Is one supposed to press the panic button, stop all the trains and hang about waiting for the police? Or make a reasonable guess about the bag's contents?

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