Some Hong Kong MTR stations remain closed following widespread vandalism, says rail operator

An MTR employee slides a gate at an entrance of Mong Kok train station during a media tour in Hong Kong on Oct 8, 2019.
An MTR employee slides a gate at an entrance of Mong Kok train station during a media tour in Hong Kong on Oct 8, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG - The city's rail operator MTR has said that seven stations will remain closed on Wednesday (Oct 9) following widespread vandalism two days ago.

All rail services will also end earlier at 8pm on Wednesday, MTR said, according to RTHK.

The seven stations that will remain closed are: Kwun Tong and Mong Kok stations on the Kwun Tong Line; Tseung Kwan O and Hang Hau stations on Tseung Kwan O line; Che Kung Mau Station, and Sha Tin Wai and Shek Mun stations on the Ma On Shan line.

The rail company said about 12,000 turnstiles, 800 ticket-vending and add-value machines and 900 CCTV cameras were damaged at various stations on Monday.

About 40 lifts and 70 roller shutters were also vandalised, RTHK reported.

MTR said the number of damaged facilities increased significantly from those it reported last Friday amid more and increasingly intense attacks by protesters.

The company condemned what it called irresponsible and illegal acts of vandalism, arson and by-law contravention, saying it will take suitable legal action.

It added that its maintenance teams are making every effort to repair damaged facilities with the aim of reopening all stations as soon as possible.

The MTR closed 13 stations in its 93-station network on Tuesday, but later reopened Po Lam and Tai Po Market stations.

 
 
 
 

Most of the 13 stations were in the New Territories area and had been targeted on Monday night, when protesters pried open shutters, then took metal bars and hammers to ticketing machines, turnstiles and even CCTV cameras.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday said the violence in Hong Kong had reached a state of lawlessness and the "rioters" are destroying the city.

"When rioters destroy malls and MTR stations, they call them dead things. But what they are doing is destroying Hong Kong," she said.

"These are all illegal acts that have sent Hong Kong into a very dangerous state, (the rioters) have no bottom line and are completely lawless."

Mrs Lam last Friday invoked an emergency legislation to order a ban on face masks during protests. But she denied any plans to use the emergency ordinance any further at this point.

Hong Kong has been rocked by nearly four months of unrest, with close to a million protesters taking to the streets against a contentious extradition Bill.

While the Bill has since been withdrawn, the movement has morphed into an anti-government one calling for more democracy.