‘Mysterious gas’ sickens Stockholm metro riders

A Stockholm metro station was shut down late Wednesday night after several people were sickened by a mysterious substance thought to be some sort of gas.

'Mysterious gas' sickens Stockholm metro riders

Ambulances were called to aid around seven people who became nauseous while waiting in the Solna Centrum metro station, just north of central Stockholm, shortly before midnight on Wednesday night.

All trains to and from the station were halted and police also set up barricades around the building.

Those affected by the suspected mystery substance were given oxygen to cope with the effects of exposure to what some theorized was tear gas or pepper spray.

But neither police nor emergency crews were able to confirm what the substance may have been.

“And I don’t think we’ll ever figure it out,” Anette Bäcklin of the Stockholm fire brigade told the TT news agency.

Firefighters with expertise in chemicals were called to the scene and examined the area with special equipment throughout the night and into Thursday morning.

But readings taken at the station’s platforms, escalators, or ticket counters failed to produce any results or give clues as to what the nausea-inducing substance could have been.

Readings taken on people’s clothes also proved fruitless.

However, the building was reopened and trains were once again operating normally by Thursday morning, despite the fact that investigators had failed to determine what may have caused people to become ill – including some firefighters who first arrived on the scene.

“They felt nauseous and their tongues went numb. But when they received oxygen, they felt better,” said Åsa Dehlin of the Stockholm fire brigade to TT.

TT/The Local/dl

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Social Democrats call for Malmö underground system

Malmö’s Social Democrats have backed plans to build an underground railway in the city which could then be connected to Copenhagen through a tunnel under the Öresund straits.

Social Democrats call for Malmö underground system
The Copenhagen Metro in Örestad, near to the Öresund Straits. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT / Kod
Malmö mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh wants the city to begin drawing up plans for an underground railway with at least five stops: Malmö Central, Södervärn, Värnhem, Västra Hamnen and Nyhamnen. 
“We need to plan for a traffic system where we take into account being a city of half a million people,” she told the local Sydsvenskan newspaper. 
“And the traffic system needs to be able to handle more than just those who live in Malmö because we represent 50 percent of the growth in new jobs in Skåne and in addition are experiencing growing tourism.” 
Stjernfeldt Jammeh said that if her party manages to hold onto power after Sunday’s election, she aimed to push forward with the plans even before an investment decision over the Öresund Metro link. 
“There is a good reason in going underground, because we need to be economical with space on the surface,” she said. 
Sweden’s Liberal Party was the first to suggest building an underground in Malmö, with the Social Democrats instead pushing for a tram network until the plan was voted down by the centre-Right Alliance in Skåne’s regional government.