An MTR East Rail Line train derailed at Hung Hom station on Tuesday morning, forcing hundreds of passengers to evacuate onto the tracks and leaving eight injured.

The train originated in Mong Kok East and was headed to Hung Hom. At 8:32am, it derailed as two carriages became detached, mangling one of the doors.

Passengers then walked along the tracks to enter Hung Hom station.

Photo: Ivan KitKit‎, via Facebook.

Mr Fung, who was on board at the time, told Apple Daily that the train vibrated for around 20 seconds during the incident as commuters screamed: “We saw a door fall off the train. There was a lot of dust in the cabin,” he said.

Mr Lee, another passenger, told the newspaper that the train suddenly stopped: “Very shortly after the train restarted, I guess around 10 seconds, it stopped suddenly. It was very abnormal. It vibrated strongly,” he said.

Fire Services Department Division Officer (Kowloon South) Cheung Kwong-yuen said that around 500 passengers were evacuated.

He added that five people were hospitalised, including one man and four women. Three more people – including a man and two women – also fell unwell, but they did not require hospitalisation.

Cheung said passengers suffered injuries to the neck and shoulders, as well as bruises to the arm.

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) will launch an investigation. When asked about the potential for debris on the tracks, EMSD Director Alfred Sit said he would not rule out any possibilities.

Photo: Facebook.

Sit confirmed there was a crack on a track, but he was uncertain whether it occurred before or after the incident.

“The investigation may take three to six months,” he said. Sit added that there was no signal test for the MTR system on Monday night before the incident.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan arrived at the accident scene at around 10:30am: “The derailment incident is a very serious incident, and the government attaches great importance to it,” he said.

Photo: Raymond Ho‎, via Facebook.

Asked about the cause, Chan said: “We would not rule out any possibilities. But, at this stage, we won’t speculate on any particular suggestions.”

Train services on the West Rail Line resumed at around 11:40am, but the section between Mong Kok East and Hung Hom remains closed.

Photo: Raymond Ho, Michael Ming, via Facebook.

MTRC Operations Director Adi Lau said that, normally, there were three main reasons for a derailment under normal operations: obstruction, a defect in the rails, or a defect in the train.

But he also said it was too early to draw any conclusion, adding that the MTRC will form an investigative panel and cooperate with the government investigation.

Lau confirmed there was a short segment of track replaced at Hung Hom station in the early hours of Tuesday, but it was not close to the crack seen in a widely shared photo. He said the incident was rare, though another derailment occurred around 20 years ago on the Kwun Tong Line between Ngau Tau Kok and Kowloon Bay.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.