MTR rush-hour fault hits thousands

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 February, 2011, 12:00am

Thousands of morning rush-hour East Rail commuters were delayed yesterday when an electrical fault halted a packed train as it was pulling into Fotan station.

The breakdown and evacuation of the train at 8am caused disruption to Hunghom-bound services for about 35 minutes affecting about 5,000 commuters.

Preliminary investigations identi fied a fault in a circuit breaker on the train which triggered the overhead line's safey device, cutting off power to the section.

MTR Corp chief executive Chow Chung-kwong said safety would never be compromised, but added: 'I hope the public can appreciate that it is almost impossible to achieve zero problems. We are aiming to achieve a very high level of international standards.'

He said the company would investigate yesterday's incident.

Engineer Dr Lo Kok-keung, of Polytechnic University's mechanical engineering department, said the incident could have been caused by ageing parts, and urged that inspections be stepped up.

This was the fourth incident involving the rail network recently. On Thursday last week, a small line crack in a railway track between Admiralty and Tsim Sha Tsui disrupted services for four hours, while on January 19, another crack near Sunny Bay station disrupted services for four hours. On Tuesday, a train driver was suspended after opening doors prematurely at University station on the East Rail Line.