Hong Kong train derailment triggers rush-hour chaos and passengers injuries

Such accidents are exceedingly rare in territory

Distressing footage shows protester protecting woman as Hong Kong riot police violently storm metro
Distressing footage shows protester protecting woman as Hong Kong riot police violently storm metro

A subway train has derailed in Hong Kong, injuring at least eight passengers and snarling the morning rush-hour commute in a city whose transit system has been routinely disrupted by three months of pro-democracy protests.

The fire service said eight people were injured, with five being sent to hospital for treatment.

Such accidents are exceedingly rare in Hong Kong, and there was no indication that the crash was related to the protests that have prompted the former British colony’s worst political crisis since it was handed back to Chinese control in 1997.

The crash comes after an especially violent weekend of street clashes, in which the Hong Kong police fired tear gas and water cannons after protesters vandalised a subway station and attacked government offices with bricks and gasoline bombs.

Adi Lau, the operations director for Hong Kong’s subway operator, the MTR Corporation, told reporters that three middle carriages of the 12-carriage train had derailed.

He said it was too early to draw conclusions about the cause of the accident.

At a separate news conference, Frank Chan, Hong Kong’s secretary for transport and housing, called the accident a “very serious incident”.

“We will not rule out any possibility, but at this stage we won’t speculate on any particular suggestions,” Mr Chan said when asked about the possible causes of the crash.

He said an investigation was underway.

The MTR Corporation’s shares fell on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at the start of trading Tuesday, but had recovered slightly by midmorning.

MTR stations have emerged as a prime target of vandalism during recent protests, apparently because protesters are angry at the company for having allowed riot police officers to enter its stations and beat or round up protesters.

On Sunday, protesters set up barricades and broke glass railings inside one downtown station, and set a fire outside another.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

The derailment occurred as a train entered the Hung Hom Station, which sits across the city’s harbour from Hong Kong Island and is also the terminus for rail service to the Chinese mainland.

Passengers were forced to leave the train, which was split into two sections, by walking across the tracks.

In March, an MTR train derailed and hit another train during a test of a new signalling system.

That crash occurred in the middle of the night and neither train was carrying passengers.

The New York Times

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in