Hong Kong Travel & Transport

18 injured in blaze after man sets liquid alight on packed Hong Kong MTR train; 160 officers deployed, 1 arrest

Eighteen people were injured on Friday after a man set a flammable liquid alight on a packed MTR train.

160 police officers were deployed at Tsim Sha Tsui station. One man has been arrested for arson, but is undergoing surgery due to his injuries. [Graphic images below.]

apple daily fire

Photo: Apple Daily.

“This is an individual incident, there is no evidence now this is a terror attack,” Yau Tsim District Commander Kwok Pak-chung told reporters. He said a man surnamed Cheung, aged 60, was hospitalised and is suspected to be the perpetrator.

He said the police did not rule out that the man suffered from a mental illness: “We believe he was blabbering… the things he was saying was not very coherent.”

Apple Daily reported that the suspect suddenly shouted “you motherfuckers, I’ll burn you all to death.” Other passengers alleged that he said his son was murdered. Then he took out a glass bottle and poured liquid, before lighting it.

mtr fire tsim sha tsui

Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

The incident occurred at 7.14pm and passengers were evacuated from the station. A police anti-terror team, which was in the area, responded.

mtr injury

Photo: Facebook.

The Fire Service said the suspect lit a flammable liquid, causing the clothing of fellow passengers to catch fire.

The blaze was put out by MTR staff and members of the public using fire extinguishers, before the fire department arrived at the scene.

MTR admitaly

Photo: Grace Yip.

Tsim Sha Tsui station remained closed on Friday night.

Among those injured was a 16-year-old local schoolgirl, who remains in a critical condition with burns to her face and legs.

schoolgirl

Photo: Apple Daily.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency confirmed that a Taiwanese tourist was also among the injured.

mtr fire tsim sha tsui

Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

“MTR is highly concerned about this incident, and would like to offer its sincere condolences to the injured,” an MTR spokesperson said.

train fire

Photo: Apple Daily.

Some of the injured were carried away on stretchers and helped into ambulances on Nathan Road, near Kowloon Mosque.

mtr fire tsim sha tsui

Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

They were taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Jordan, Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei and Caritas Medical Centre in Sham Shui Po.

fire train

Photo: Apple Daily.

“The smoke came from nowhere and spread very quickly – I just took a photo then I had to use my jacket to cover my nose,” commuter Grace Yip told HKFP.

mtr fire tsim sha tsui

Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

Buses and ferries ground to a halt across the city as commuters sought alternative routes home.

mtr fire tsim sha tsui

Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

Both chief executive contenders Carrie Lam and John Tsang said they felt shocked at the incident, and expressed their condolences to the injured, reported RTHK.

mtr fire tsim sha tsui

Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

The last major fire incident on the MTR took place in 2004, when an arson attack caused 14 minor injuries.

mtr fire tsim sha tsui

Photo: Catherine Lai/HKFP.

The Red Cross has set up a special psychological support hotline on 36281180 to assist the needy.

18 injured in blaze after man sets liquid alight on packed Hong Kong MTR train; 160 officers deployed, 1 arrest