A colonial-era postbox in Yau Ma Tei was set alight early on Tuesday morning in a suspected case of arson.

The Fire Services Department received a call about the fire at 7:56am after a passer-by saw smoke rising out of the Shanghai Street pillarbox, Apple Daily reported.

A burnt towel was found inside the postbox. The Fire Services Department said they suspected someone had set the towel alight and dropped it into the postbox, Ming Pao reported. Police are investigating the case as arson.

A spokesperson from Hongkong Post told Oriental Daily that there were more than 80 letters in the post-box, and eight of them were severely burnt while others had been soaked with water.

Letters in the postbox were soaked with water or burnt.

The postbox is one of the 59 colonial era boxes left in the city. In October, Hongkong Post announced plans to cover the royal cyphers on the boxes with metal plates. The Hong Kong History Study Circle organised an event to encourage the public to better appreciate the historic postboxes of Central.

Koel Chu

Koel Chu is a second-year journalism and fine arts student at the University of Hong Kong. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Koel is interested in the arts and urban design. She interned at China Radio International in Beijing and, at her university, she also works as Vice-President of Branding and Marketing in AIESEC, the largest youth-run organisation in the world.