Three Hongkongers have been arrested after a video showing them riding the roof of a moving MTR train and scaling a construction crane went viral. Police called their stunts a bid to “capture eyeballs” and “chase excitement.”
The three, aged 21 to 24, were suspected of wilfully endangering safety and public nuisance, and breaching drone-flying related laws, police said on Tuesday.
Their arrests came two days after the video was uploaded to an Instagram account – which has seen its follower count almost quadruple since – that shared parkour and stunt videos. The MTR Corporation earlier reported the incident to police.
Police confiscated devices including three phones, a drone, a camera, a laptop and a sports camera during the investigation. Further arrests have not been ruled out, they said.
The Instagram page features multiple videos, among them showing a man scaling down a housing estate block, and doing backflips on the ledge of a high-rise building. The train-and-crane video remained online and accessible as of Wednesday afternoon, with a number of comments expressing admiration for the men’s acts.
Police added that those arrested perceived themselves as “cool” and were “making a name for themselves” by engaging in the stunts.
‘Putting their own safety at stake’
The seven-minute Instagram video, uploaded on Sunday, showed a compilation of stunt clips, among them of two men leaping from a raised platform onto the top of a train stopped at the Town Centre MTR Light Rail Stop in Tuen Mun.
As the train pulls away, the pair swear excitedly while one of them holds up his phone to take a video of the night time scenery. At the next stop, they jump onto the platform and run down the escalator and out of the station, panting heavily and exchanging fist bumps.
In another clip – apparently filmed on New Year’s Eve – three men are seen entering a construction site and climbing onto a crane with a view of Victoria Harbour, where a light show rang in the new year. According to HK01, it was a building site for a five-star hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui under property developer Empire Group.
“There’s one more minute [to the new year]… [its] 2023! Happy New Year!” one of them cheered.
The video suggests that they remained at the top of the crane until daybreak.
Addressing reporters on Tuesday, superintendent Wilson Tam said the men had “put their own safety at stake,” while also endangering others. Their widely circulated behaviour, he added, also risked inspiring others to imitate their actions.
“We respect all legal behaviour, but when engaging in extreme sports, [the public] must consider the safety and rights of themselves and other people,” Tam said.
Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit, Hong Kong Free Press is #PressingOn with impartial, award-winning, frontline coverage.