MTR train carrying passengers in Hong Kong derails for first time

A train has derailed on the East Rail line, where services have been partly closed.
PHOTO: South China Morning Post

An MTR train carrying passengers has derailed in Hong Kong for the first time, leading to a service suspension on the East Rail line.

Rail services between Mong Kok East and Hung Hom stations have been suspended after a carriage came off the track on Tuesday morning, the MTR Corporation said.

An MTR source has said no passengers were injured, but no official information was immediately available.

The train left Mong Kok East towards Hung Hom but a carriage derailed en route. The rail operator initially released information that the train was heading in the opposite direction.

Images circulating online showed passengers leaving the carriage, which stood across two sets of tracks, through a damaged train door. They were seen walking along the tracks to safety.

A senior source of MTR Corp said they had not found any suspicious objects on the track, with the investigation at its early stages.

The incident site was enclosed so it was hard for outsiders to access it, the source added, hinting it was very difficult for anyone to cause disruption at that location.

A man, who gave his surname was Kwok, was seen at Hung Hom station in a wheelchair. He said he had knocked his head when the train had derailed.

Kwok told reporters he had heard a strange noise, after which the carriage began shaking and veering from side-to-side.

The carriage he was in held 40 to 50 passengers, mostly women and at least one child. Kwok said he helped them to leave before he was tended to by first aid workers.

The derailed carriage appeared to be one of the middle ones in the service.

The connections between the carriages looked to have broken off. A hole could be seen where the cables were seemingly ripped from.

Meanwhile, services on the West Rail line have been affected with trains between Hung Hom and Tuen Mun running every 12 minutes. Services between Nam Cheong and Tuen Mun are running at six-minute intervals.

MTR Corp has arranged a free shuttle bus service from Tai Wai to Diamond Hill to ease the impact on Kowloon-bound passengers.

Last year, two trains without passengers crashed during an out-of-hours service trial near Central Station, causing long delays on several rail lines.

Train services on the East Rail line between Mong Kok East and Lo Wu station near the border with mainland China continue to run at six-minute intervals, with services to Lok Ma Chau remaining every 18 minutes.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.