An MTR train that was carrying passengers has derailed in Hong Kong, leading to a service suspension on the East Rail line. It is the first time a railcar carrying commuters has gone off the track in the city.
Rail services between Hung Hom and Mong Kok East stations have been suspended after the train came off the track on Tuesday morning, the MTR Corporation said.
At a press conference held in Hung Hom station at around 11:30 am, Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan, who was on the scene from about 10.30am, said eight were injured, though he gave no details on their seriousness. Five men and one women were sent to hospital.
Emergency services were out in force to help those affected.
MTR Operations Director Adi Lau Tin-shing pointed out that before beginning any rehabilitation work, the MTR has to complete three tasks first: to examine the derailed train at the scene, to arrange lifting devices to toll the train away, and to inspect the tracks and its components.
Lau said this series of work would be hectic and limited by space, as there are high voltage cables above the site, therefore more time was needed to complete the rehabilitation work, and train services would remain affected.
Lau noted the there are three common causes for train derailment, including obstruction, defects in train tracks and defects of the train. He said it is too early to draw any conclusions for the reason for this derailment, and a subsequent investigation panel will be formed by external experts to look into the incident.
Documents have been circulating online about a track replacement work done during Tuesday's early hours, with suspicions that the work was related to the derailment. Lau confirmed the work happened near the site of the incident, but said it was not on the same stretch of track.