Poor repair work on tracks led to East Rail line derailment, MTR probe finds

Photos circulating online show passengers from a derailed train walk towards Hung Hom station on the train tracks. Photo via Facebook.
Photos circulating online show passengers from a derailed train walk towards Hung Hom station on the train tracks. Photo via Facebook.

Shoddy repair work on a train track by MTR staff was what caused an East Rail line train to derail as it was approaching Hung Hom in September, a report has found.

After a five-month investigation, the MTR Corp confirmed that on Aug. 4, maintenance staff had attempted to fix an excessively wide gap between the rails by replacing two worn-out wooden railroad ties laid under the track with two new synthetic ones, Headline Daily reports.

However, the screws came loose, causing the gap to widen even further until, on Sept. 17, a 12-car train passed over the spot and ran off the rails during rush hour as it approached Hung Hom MTR station. Eight passengers were injured in the incident.

Five-hundred passengers had to be evacuated from the train, and five of the injured — one man and four women — were sent to hospital. The other three left the station after being treated at the scene.

The railway operator concluded that maintenance staff hadn’t fully understood how to fix the initial problem, and said they are implementing improved procedures and more training for maintenance staff.

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CITY: HONG KONGCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: TRANSPORTATION

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