The MTR Corporation has said it will no longer permit convenience stores located within stations to sell lighters beginning on March 1, citing safety reasons.

The change in policy comes after an arson attack on board a train on February 10, which injured 19 people.

mtr carriage
The charred MTR carriage where the arson attack took place. Photo: Stand News.

“We aim to provide a safe, reliable and comfortable travelling experience for passengers,” the company told HKFP.

See also: MTR and employees will donate HK$2m to families of injured passengers, says chairman

Some internet users were bemused by the new policy. “Would someone who wants to start a fire wait until arriving at the MTR station before buying a lighter?” asked one commenter on the Facebook page of Apple Daily.

mtr fire tsim sha tsui
Tsim Sha Tsui station after the incident. Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

On the evening of February 10, a 60-year-old man allegedly set flammable liquid alight on board a packed MTR train, as it made its way to Tsim Sha Tsui station. On Wednesday, the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court adjourned the hearing of the suspect to February 27, awaiting his discharge from hospital.

Elson Tong

Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.