'Hoax' email advises on London Tube safety

Written by Jason Cundall

July 28, 2005 | 12:53

Tags: #email #hoax #london #tube

Mobile phone companies and London Transport (the people who run the Tube) are warning of a 'hoax' email that is spreading inaccurate information on underground safety:

London Transport and mobile firms are warning people about an e-mail spreading rapidly containing inaccurate safety information.
The message claims that passengers on the London Tube system can contact emergency services via a satellite signal from their mobiles underground.

Mobiles do not work in the London Underground, and satellite signals cannot reach there either.

A Vodafone spokesperson said it had had numerous enquiries about the "hoax".

"This e-mail is incorrect. The 112 number does link people through to 999, but it only works if you have a signal on your mobile phone. If you have no signal bars on your phone, it will not work," a spokesperson from London Transport said.

"It will not divert to a satellite signal.

"Even with a satellite mobile phone (which very few people have), you would need to have a clear line-of-sight to the satellite. You would have to be outside, not in a building or a tube tunnel."

More from the BBC here.

We may chuckle at the email - as techno-savvy individuals, we know that phones don't work on the tube (for the time being, at least), and satellites, no matter how powerful, aren't going to reach underground. But a lot of people who aren't as switched on about technology don't.

Is this some form of joke by some individual to prey on the fears of Londoners and Tube commuters? Or is it simply a misguided attempt to help, albeit an inaccurate one? Either way, it needs to be nipped in bud.

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