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Thursday, Feb 09, 2023

Lawmakers urge manpower review after MTR TKO Line incident

Lawmakers urge manpower review after MTR TKO Line incident

The second MTR Line incident within one month reflects problems existing in the maintenance manpower system of MTR Corporation, said industry veterans.
Over 1,500 passengers were evacuated during the train incident at MTR Tseung Kwan O Station yesterday morning due to the compartments of the carriages failing to function and leading to an emergency stop, marking the second incident in one month since over 700 passengers were affected as one MTR train of Kwun Tong Line hit a guardrail component and caused the doors to fall off on November 13.

Lawmaker Gary Zhang Xinyu said on Tuesday that there were systematic risks in the MTR Corps’ maintenance management.

"There was a shortage of maintenance staff for trains, which led to insufficient daily preventive maintenance work, causing the greater risks of incidents," he said in a radio program today, "it is a vicious cycle."

"It is no doubt lucky that the train didn’t split into two parts in the incident yesterday because it is not impossible," Zhang added.

Lawmaker Stanley Li Sai-wing slammed the evacuation process after the incident - during which passengers were guided by MTR staff to walk along the tunnel to go outside - failed to be improved.

"There was not sufficient light in the tunnel," he said, "the company should have learned lessons from the last Kwun Tong Line incident."

Henry Cheung Nin-sang, the chairperson of the Association of Hong Kong Railway Transport Professionals, added that only two cases of similar incidents occurred in the related type of trains in the past 30 years.

He speculated the TKO Line incident was due to the pneumatic system of the coupling parts between train carriages malfunctioning.

The involved trains, named "K-train," were manufactured in South Korea and introduced into Hong Kong in 2002 to serve MTR TKO Line and Tung Chung Line.

A spokesperson of MTR Corps announced yesterday that the company would conduct a comprehensive review of its asset management and maintenance system to avoid similar incidents from happening again.

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