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a) The other people on the train believed her at first -- every time she yelled about "fire" they looked in the direction she was pointing. The began to get scared, and their fear caused them to treat her poorly, gagging her so she could no longer call out and even beating her to stop her screaming.
b) The other people on the train could have spoken to her with comforting words, or tried to give her comfort and peace in other ways "(gentle touch/encouragement) rather than becoming abusive. It was difficult for them to handle her stress, however, because it was causing them fear.
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