About two years ago, a number of subway stations in Seoul began installing these Plexiglas-like barriers and sliding doors on the platforms, which I thought were a safety measure to prevent accidents especially at some of the busier stations.
They were also meant to stop people from committing suicide by leaping in front of trains entering the station. However, subway suicides are on the rise again according to an article in the Digital Chosun Ilbo.
“The number of people who committed suicide by jumping on the subway tracks has risen some 30 percent this year. Twenty-two people killed themselves in Seoul and the metropolitan area this year, or four per month. Given a figure of 34 for the whole of last year or three per month, that is almost a 30 percent increase. The figures come from data from 2000 to June 21, 2007 provided by Seoul Metro, which operates lines no. 1 to 4, and the Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, which operates lines 5 to 8. They show that most people attempt suicide by jumping on the tracks at quiet stations without screen doors.”