Japanese train pushers

So we all know that Tokyo is a very populated city. How populated is it? Populated enough that they need train pushers during morning and evening rush hours.

What is a train pusher? Simple: they push people onto the trains. The trains in Tokyo are so crowded that some of them routinely have to serve significantly over 100% capacity. So these train pushers (apparently called "oshiya" in Japanese) pretty much stuff them into the trains by squeezing them in through the doors and making sure that the doors close without catching people's bags, jackets, etc. I though people were making this up as a joke, but then I looked online; it appears to be very true. There are Youtube videos of this in action (as seen on these comments on Gizmodo).

Is this a safety hazard? I feel like it should be, but I can't quite figure out how. I would say fire hazard, but they're stuck in an underground tunnel anyways; even if there was only one person on the train, he or she would still be unable to escape from a freak fire while riding it, so I don't know how much more of a fire hazard this would be.

(via Hon-ya through Wikipedia)


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