Tue, Mar 19, 2019 - Page 6 News List

HK subway trains collide during signal system tests

Bloomberg

A photo released by MRT Corp shows two trains after a collision yesterday morning in Hong Kong.

Photo: AP / MTR Corp

Two Hong Kong subway trains collided during a test run of a new signaling system, the second mishap in months for local rail operator MTR Corp.

The incident occurred at about 3am yesterday, when train services were not open to the public, MTR said.

Two drivers were taken to the hospital, with one having a leg injury, MTR operations director Adi Lau (劉天成) said.

The accident comes about five months after a rare, simultaneous signaling glitch on four subway lines caused chaos at stations during the morning peak-hour rush.

Hong Kong’s subway, often lauded as being among Asia’s best, carries millions of passengers on weekdays.

Service on the Tsuen Wan line between Admiralty and Central, where Hong Kong’s main business districts are located, was suspended.

MTR shares fell as much as 1.3 percent before rebounding and rising 0.3 percent at the close in Hong Kong.

Preliminary findings show that there was a problem with the new signaling system, MRT managing director and incoming chief executive officer Jacob Kam (金澤培) said.

The company will investigate further before giving a more definitive cause for the collision, Kam told reporters yesterday afternoon.

The signaling system might be responsible for a 2017 crash in Singapore’s subway that injured 38 people, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Hong Kong Federation of Railway Trade Unions chairman Lam Wai-keung.

Hong Kong’s government said it is following the situation closely.

Hong Kong Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan (陳帆) contacted MTR chairman Frederick Ma (馬時亨) and asked the company to hold an urgent board meeting to investigate the incident.

MTR further said that the company’s board is to hold a meeting today.

Repairs might take more than a day, and the company said that it plans to notify the public in due course.

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