Eight people sustained mostly minor injuries in this morning’s derailment of a train on the MTR’s East Rail line, Hong Kong’s Fire Services Department has confirmed.
Speaking to reporters at a press briefing at Hung Hom MTR station less than an hour ago, Cheung Kwong-yuen, a division officer from the Fire Services Department for Kowloon South, said those who reported injuries approached paramedics on the platform inside the station to say they weren’t feeling well.
Cheung confirmed that 500 passengers were evacuated from the train, and that five of the injured — one man and four women — were sent to hospital. The remaining man and two women reported minor injuries, but left the station after being treated at the scene.
Services between the Hung Hom and Mong Kok East MTR stations were suspended at about 8:55am after an East Rail line train left Mong Kok East station and was preparing to enter the Hung Hom terminal station during rush hour.
Photos and videos circulating online show passengers getting out of the train, onto the tracks, and walking toward the station.
MTR train derailment near Hung Hom has forced suspension of part of East Rail line during morning rush hour. Video circulating online shows passengers have to walk on the railway track. pic.twitter.com/XsW3ETxBNj
— Alvin L (@alvinllum) September 17, 2019
One of the passengers on the train, surnamed Wong, told Commercial Radio that as the train got ready to enter Hung Hom station: “It started shaking like a rollercoaster,” and he thought the train carriage would roll over as the cars began to separate.
Another passenger surnamed Fung told Apple Daily: “The entire carriage shook for about 10 to 20 seconds. Everyone inside the train was really scared, some passengers started screaming and others even started crying.
It’s not clear yet what caused the derailment, but according to Ming Pao, the train came off the tracks at a diverting point where trains are redirected to different platforms. Tam Kin-chiu, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Federation of Railway Trade Unions, told the outlet that at that section of the track in question, the train directions and speeds are controlled by a computer.
Video of the derailment happened at Hung Hom Station today.
East Rail Line suspended
— HONGKONGUIDE (@hongkonguide) September 17, 2019
Transport and Housing Secretary Frank Chan told reporters gathered at Hung Hom station this morning that an investigation into the incident will be carried out by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), and a report will be published soon.
Chan said that while authorities wouldn’t rule out the possibility of foul play, but they wouldn’t be speculating on the cause.
“At this moment in time, let’s wait and see until a comprehensive and in-depth investigation is completed by the EMSD and other departments,” said.
When asked by a reporter how he could assure passengers that the MTR is safe if they don’t know the cause, he replied only that the MTR would “exercise vigilance to ensure the system is running safely and smoothly.”
【東鐵綫紅磡站附近 有列車出軌】初步知道列車從紅磡站月台開出，往旺角東時，列車出現故障，現場有車卡偏離路軌，原因有待調查。港鐵更正：出事列車當時由旺角東駛往紅磡＃網上圖片#香港電台 #港台電視31 #港台電視32 #十點半新聞天地
Both trains were badly damaged and the two train drivers suffered only minor injuries. No passengers were on the trains at the time.
Additional reporting by AFP