(Video) MTR door flew off, disrupting peak hour service
Chaos reigned during evening rush hour on Thursday, after MTR suspended service between Wan Chai and Quarry Bay stations after a train carriage lost its door in a rare accident.
The carriage door came off after hitting on a loose advertisement board as the train slid into the platform at Causeway Bay station, MTR’s head of operation Sammy Wong Kwan-wai said. Fortunately no one was hurt.
The bizarre incident will likely cost the train operator over HK$3 million in fines.
The rare accident took place around 6.30pm Thursday on a Kennedy Town-bound train at Platform 2 in Causeway Bay station.
A pair of doors of the first carriage flew off and landed onto the tracks. They were not the ones facing the platform but on the other side with advertisement billboards.
According to online photos and videos uploaded by passengers, the glass windows on the train doors were shattered and pieces of broken glass scattered on the rail, with some seen piled up on an electric wire attached to the wall below the billboard.
Wong said the train carriage was believed to be hit by a loose component sticking out of an advertising billboard in the tunnel. The door dropped onto the track after collision.
The train stopped on the platform, and all passengers were cleared out in three minutes.
Nelson Ng Wai-hung, chief of operations engineering, said the component in question is a movable part which facilitates the changing of the advertising panel.
Workers later found it not in the right position when carrying out emergency repairs.
At 8.50pm, the train was removed and services on the Island Line resumed. Trains enter the Causeway Bay station in slow speed to play safe. Wong noted that the train was first towed to Admiralty before it was moved to Chai Wan train depot.
A thorough investigation will be conducted after MTR service finish tonight (Thursday), during which workers will inspect the train as well as the advertising billboard.
MTR said there are eight similar advertising billboards, locating at Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok, Causeway Bay and Admiralty stations. Workers will make sure these billboards are properly fixed on the wall in the tunnel, the train company said.
Wong and Ng apologized for the inconvenience caused by the disruption.
Association of Hong Kong Railway Transport Professionals chairman Henry Cheung Nin-sang described the accident as “having made the impossible possible.”
He said train doors are attached to the compartments using buckles, somehow similar to how shower curtains hang.
Cheung said the train involved in the incident is an old model and run frequently.
He also said the daily inspection of train does not include checking the metal hooks of the doors, and the rail company would usually change the hooks during the big maintenance at the depot.
Cheung said the maintenance and inspection are considered as stringent but the rail company should consider if it needs to check other trains of the same model.
Mr Cheung, a passenger who was on the train when the incident happened, said he heard strange noises.
“When the train was approaching the station, I heard a strange ‘bang’. And when I walked towards the door, many were taking pictures ... the doors have disappeared,” Cheung said.
“It was not during peak rush hour as it is only about 6 pm, people have yet to finish work so the train carriage was not very packed. It is really fortunate there were not that many people on that carriage,” he added.
With MTR service suspended on a part of Island Line in the evening, some citizens waited for more than an hour for buses from Causeway Bay to Kowloon. There were also huge crowds waiting for cross-tunnel buses outside Central Government Offices in Admiralty and Revenue Tower in Wan Chai.