Cigarette delays China's newly launched bullet train

Thousands of passengers were stranded in south China's Guangdong Province Tuesday after a newly-launched high-speed train was stopped by an unruly smoker, said local transportation officials.

The express, boasting a designed speed of 350-km-per-hour, connects Wuhan, a metropolis in central China, and Guangzhou City, a business hub in the southern Guangdong Province. It just opened on Saturday.

A passenger, who smoked on the No.G1048 train, triggered the alarm and delayed the train that was scheduled to leave Guangzhou at 3:00 p.m..

Several trains were sequentially stranded, until the No.G1048 train started off two hours and a half later after going through technical checks.

"Smoking is strictly forbidden on the Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed train, even in the toilet," said a spokesman with the Guangzhou Railway Group Corporation. "It could trigger the alarm and even cause equipment failures."

However, the smoker was not caught because he had left several minutes before the alarm bell, the spokesman said.