The Fire Services Department (FSD) has said that it is usual practice to amend incident logs after a lawmaker raised questions over an incident on August 31.

On Tuesday, Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung presented a logbook relating to an incident where baton-wielding police stormed Prince Edward MTR station, deploying pepper spray and making arrests. He questioned why some records were amended as late as ten days later, alongside three anonymous FSD staffers who claimed such late amendments were rare.

Fire Services Department record
One of the records that was modified on September 10. Photo: RTHK Screenshot.

The initial number of injuries counted by FSD staff was ten, though it was soon changed to seven on the night of the incident. Some records relating to the number of injuries were amended on September 3. Meanwhile, other records relating to police moving the injured people to Lai Chi Kok MTR station on August 31 were amended over a week later, on September 10.

The FSD said in response that – normally – the Fire Services Communications Centre confirms information with managers on the scene and revisits records in order to make supplementary notes correct the incident log.

“This is the usual practice, especially for large-scale incidents,” it said. “It is not rare, as some people – who do not understand the full picture – claimed.”

Alvin Yeung Fire Services Department staff member
Alvin Yeung and three anonymous Fire Services Department staff members. Photo: RTHK Screenshot.

The FSD said it revisited 700 recordings and confirmed details with on-scene managers over the days that followed.

It said that people who claimed to be FSD staff members interpreted the incident log when they were unfamiliar with the operations and background of the incident.

“This was irresponsible behaviour, and they can easily confuse or wrongly interpret some information, causing more unnecessary speculation or misunderstandings,” it said.

The FSD said it was extremely disappointed by the leak and the behaviour of the relevant people, expressing “strong criticism.”

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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.