Delays on Hong Kong trains as protesters disrupt morning rush

Protesters preventing the doors of a train from closing as MTR staff try to stop them at Admiralty station on July 24, 2019. PHOTO: SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
A photo on social media showing an exchange between a commuter and police at an MTR station in Hong Kong. PHOTO: WEIBO

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - A small group of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on Wednesday (July 24) temporarily disrupted the city's notoriously busy morning rush, stranding crowds of commuters on platforms at a main station.

The action prompted Hong Kong's train operator to announce delays on the Island Line, which cuts through the the city's financial centre.

MRT Corp, Hong Kong's urban rail operator, said in a statement on its website that delays can be expected due to "a number of train door obstruction incidents".

The company said that travel time on the normally packed line could be 10-15 minutes longer than usual.

Broadcaster TVB later reported that train services went back to normal at 9.15am.

Protesters who have been campaigning for weeks against Chief Executive Carrie Lam's bid to ease extraditions to mainland China had said they planned to interrupt the morning service.

The move came after dozens of protesters and other passengers were injured on Sunday when mobs of stick-wielding men attacked them at a train station in the northern suburb of Yuen Long.

Some protesters on Wednesday wore surgical masks to hide their identities and were seen on platforms at Admiralty station at around 8.15am shouting at police officers as commuters stood in long lines to board trains.

Some protesters were seen blocking the train doors from closing, reported public broadcaster RTHK.

Citing online posts, RTHK said the protesters were apparently upset with MTR Corp for allowing armed mobs to launch a brutal attack on protesters and train passengers at the Yuen Long MTR station.

News outlet HK01 reported on Monday night that six men, including suspected members of the Wo Shing Wo and 14K triads, have been arrested in connection with the attack.

A day later, the police said they have arrested another five men, bringing the total to 11.

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