According to a Xinkuai newspaper report on January 29, the Guangzhou railroad station stopped selling tickets on January 28 as the weather condition continued to deteriorate. The number of stranded passengers increased to 120,000 over night.
Many passengers had been waiting to go home for days and began to show signs of fatigue and distress. In two days, the medical unit inside the railroad station received more than a hundred patients who fainted, some were reported to be in a state of shock.
The sanitary condition in the waiting tents and the square outside the railroad station became serious. Garbage started to accumulate over the station floors and some of the stranded passengers had to go to the toilet in public due to lack of space and for being unable to move.
One rural worker Sun Yan with her eight-year-old daughter were stranded inside one of the waiting tents. “It is too crowded; we can’t even lift our legs. We almost suffocated to death.” Sun said.
Her daughter’s face turned completely red from being crowded. “For a whole day and night, I only had an apple to eat; my daughter only had a small piece of bread,” Sun added.
In the big waiting tents, almost all passengers stood back to back to each other. They could only lean against the shoulder of the next person for a nap when they became tired.
A man from Hunan Province standing outside of a waiting tent had to accompany his wife to receive emergency care. He said his wife passed out ten minutes before but recovered after receiving treatment.
By 2 p.m., Yan Yan a staff-member from the medical unit said, “Over 70 passengers fainted yesterday and we have already treated 37 today.”
Guangzhou City Environmental Bureau urgently sent 120 cleaners to the railroad station. More than a hundred tons of garbage from the station has been cleaned up on a daily basis since the snow storm hit in mid-January.
A cleaning worker said, “Too many people! They can’t pass the crowd to the washroom so they can only discharge publicly!”
“It really stinks. Human excrement is everywhere!” another worker said while cleaning the No. 8 waiting tent.
A young man from Hunan said, “I have to go [to the bathroom], but once I get out of here, there is no way to get back in!” He and his friend have been waiting in a tent for nearly 40 hours. Like many other Chinese who do not want to lose the chance to go home before the Chinese New Year, they had no choice but to relieve themselves in the open.
According to the Mainland Meteorology Observatory forecast, in the coming ten days, most of the southern part of China will be cloudy, rainy, and snowy. The main days rain is expected on are January 27, 28 and 31, and on February 1. The low temperature and rain and snow is expected to affect transportation even more.