23 injured as truck-train collision halts Light Rail services

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 May, 2011, 12:00am

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The MTR was scrambling to fix an overhead cable in Tuen Mun last night in order to get train services working again, following a collision between a Light Rail train and a container truck yesterday.

Twenty three people were injured in the Light Rail line crash. Of those, four women, aged between 24 and 36, and a 52-year-old man, remained in Tuen Mun Hospital last night. All were in a stable condition. The others injured were discharged.

Police said train services between Tin Heng and Tin Yuet stations were suspended from about 10am yesterday after the container truck collided with the No 706 light rail train at Tin Wah Road near Tin Yuet station. About 100 passengers were on board.

The force of the impact knocked one of the train carriages off the tracks. The truck also crashed into a lamp post and damaged electric cables. Both the truck and the train carriages were severely damaged.

'I heard a very loud bang and saw something falling from the vicinity of the train's overhead cable,' a witness said. 'People were screaming and crying for help. Some passengers fell to the ground. It was chaotic.'

MTR head of operations Choi Tak-tsan said it would take hours to tow the carriages back to the depot and also to fix the electric cables and facilities dislocated and damaged by the crash. 'There is some damage to the Light Rail vehicle and infrastructure, the most serious being the knocking out of position of one overhead line support pole,' he said.

He said the company needed to conduct a complete inspection of the rail facilities and tracks to ensure their safety before resuming services.

An MTR spokesman said the company would also launch an investigation.

Police will undertake their own inquiries into the cause of the accident. One focus would be to find out if it involved jumping a red light.

The drivers of both the train and the truck passed a breath test.

The MTR arranged shuttle buses for passengers affected by the line closure. By 5pm, they had moved about 4,500 passengers.

An MTR spokesman said the repair work on the damaged track and cable was expected to be completed by 4am.

 

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