An escalator at the new Ho Man Tin MTR station was temporarily closed on Sunday after metal parts broke away from the mechanism. No one was injured.

Pieces of the comb “teeth” were found after a part broke off from the machine. Passenger Irene Lam told Apple Daily that she heard a “bang” and then saw a man almost fall over on the escalator.

The escalator at the Ho Man Tin station. Photo: Apple Daily.

Pieces of machine parts were scattered along the escalator, according to Lam. She added that fortunately there were no other passengers at the time.

Lam also said that employees of the MTR Corporation had tried to stop her from taking pictures.

The escalator at the Ho Man Tin station. Photo: Apple Daily.

A spokesperson for the MTR Corporation confirmed the incident. It said it found a screw not belonging to the escalator, which might have jammed the escalator and triggered the safety devices, leading to the machine’s sudden stop.

The incident, which took place at around 8:45am on Sunday, came only nine days after the Ho Man Tin station began operations.

Ho Man Tin station. Photo: MTRC.

Lawmaker Claudia Mo of the Civic Party said that the incident might be caused by the use of cheap labour and materials. “My immediate reaction was: this is mainlandisation,” said Mo, referring to past incidents of elevator cables snapping in mainland China.

Mo said the MTR Corporation has no excuse, given that the Ho Man Tin station opened less than two weeks ago.

There have been at least eight incidents of escalator malfunction this year.

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Ellie Ng

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.