A fight between two men on the MTR last week left one with part of his thumb bitten off. The other was left with injuries to his face.
The men, Yu, 54, and Tong, 64, were arrested by police at Mong Kok station. But Tong’s missing thumb tip, which measured 1cm in length, was only picked up when the train arrived at Central, 12 minutes away.
The brawl broke out when the train left Prince Edward station just before 9am last Thursday. A police source said the thumb tip was sent to hospital to be sewn back on Tong’s hand, but it was still too early to say if the surgery had been successful.
Police said Tong had boarded the train at Sham Shui Po. Yu got in at Prince Edward. The row started when the two men bumped into each other.
Tong’s thumb was bitten off when he punched Yu in the mouth. Both men alighted from the train at Mong Kok, where they were arrested.
MTR staff got on the train at Jordan to look for Tong’s thumb. An MTR spokesman said the thumb tip was put in an ice bag before being handed to ambulance crew.
However, according to doctor Peter Pang Kai-mau, the thumb has a low chance of functioning normally even if successfully reattached. As the thumb makes up half the function of the whole hand, it is lucky the missing piece was found within an hour, he told local media company HK01. After a certain amount of time, a severed body piece will begin to die. However, because Tong is older than 60, it will be a challenge for him to regain full function of his left hand. More important, says Dr Pang, is whether the missing piece was infected as that can also determine the chances of saving it.
According to official statistics, police handled 1,138 reports of serious assault in the first four months of the year, up 2.1 per cent when compared to 1,115 cases in the same period last year.