NEWS

Canada: Greyhound Buses Strengthen Security Measures

By Matthew Harwood

Greyhound Lines Inc. has instituted heightened security protocols at Canadian bus terminals after multiple passengers have been stabbed and one beheaded while riding buses in cities and across the countryside, reports The Los Angeles Times.

The measures, even stricter than most of those the company adopted in the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks, include a ban on most hand-held luggage, hand searches of any items carried on board and magnetic screening of all passengers at the terminals.

The heightened passenger screening debuted this month at bus stations in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary and will be expanded Monday to include all major intercity bus terminals across Canada.

Since last December, three people have been stabbed on intercity buses, and in another incident a bus driver was attacked by a gang of youths after they threw something in the roadway to stop the bus.

But the real outcry occurred when 41-year-old Vincent Weiguang Li stabbed 22-year-old Timothy McLean 40 times while he slept in the seat beside him in July. During the attack, the bus stopped and the passengers and the driver escaped. Li then proceeded to cut McLean's head off and then walked it to the front of the bus and held it up for all the passengers and the driver outside to see. The driver and the passengers held the door shut so Li couldn't escape. Li returned to McLean's body to mutilate it and cannibalize it.

In the United States, however, security on Greyhound buses continues to be more lax.

There is no blanket ban on all-but-essential carry-on baggage and passengers are only selectively wanded.

Instead, Greyhound conducts random passenger and luggage screening and relies on video surveillance and "other measures that the company cannot discuss," said Abby Wambaugh, the company's spokeswoman.

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