• Tue
  • Sep 16, 2014
  • Updated: 9:06pm
NewsHong Kong

Fury after dog killed on MTR tracks because rail bosses refused to halt services

Protests hit stations and tens of thousands sign petition as anger builds at corporation's decision to resume services while stray was on tracks

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 August, 2014, 1:57pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 1:26pm

The MTR Corporation yesterday faced a wave of protests, including an online petition signed by around 80,000 people, after it failed to prevent the death of a stray dog on its East Rail Line.

The animal was killed at around 10.30am on Wednesday morning, just 30 minutes after staff at the Sheung Shui MTR station failed in a brief effort to remove the stray who had wandered onto the lines.

Watch: Death of dog on MTR tracks sparks outrage in Hong Kong

Services were suspended for six minutes during their attempts, which included dangling a chair over the edge of the platform. But when those failed the MTR control centre said services had to resume.

The animal, which had run down the track towards the next station, Fanling, was then hit by intercity T801 from Guangzhou.

The incident sparked outrage from people who asked why more of an effort had not been made to help the dog.

Yesterday, activists staged protests at locations including Fanling MTR station, close to where the dog was killed, and the company's headquarters in Kowloon Bay.

Five activists associated with the People Power political party attempted to jump onto the tracks at the station in the New Territories, but were stopped by security, according to witnesses.

Other protesters left bunches of flowers and pet food on the platform in remembrance of the dead animal.

"We cannot let another 'Little Yue-yue' incident happen in Hong Kong," said Cheng Chung-tai of Civic Passion, referring to a widely publicised incident in Guangdong in 2011 when Wang Yue, the two-year-old victim of a car accident, was ignored by throngs of pedestrians.

Online, people expressed anger and dismay, and a petition calling for an official MTR explanation quickly gained around 80,000 signatures.

Many questioned why staff members had failed to help the dog; others wondered if such a tragedy would be repeated.

A Facebook-organised event to mourn the dog is scheduled to take place tomorrow at Sheung Shui station.

The MTR said last night it supported animal protection and that staff had attempted to coax the dog to safety.

But the dog had remained elusive and could not be located even after staff at Fanling station ordered an incoming train to stop to enable a search.

The dog was found dead after the train was allowed to depart, it added.

A spokesman for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the MTR had no mechanism to deal with such a situation.

"We understand the MTR is under pressure to keep the trains running on time," Michael Wong said. "But it didn't alert the [Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department] which could have been able to help.

"The AFCD have tranquiliser guns which would have made saving the dog easier.

"It's a terrible way to die."

But Wong said such incidents did not happen very often and this was the only animal known to have been killed on the railway lines in recent years.

"The MTR has a good mechanism to keep animals off the rails," he said, in contrast to its apparent lack of a plan for when animals did get on the tracks.

  • Click to go to the petition demanding an official explanation from the MTR over dog's death on tracks (Chinese), (English)


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This article is now closed to comments

People Power activist Tam Tak-chi takes part in a protest at Fanling station.
This guy just wanted to become somebody, so that he can become a legislator like Long Hair (Leung Kok Hung) someday, therefore earning a handsome monthly salary enjoying good food and nice beer at Lan Kwai Fong everyday. To be a dog lover is a good idea to start with, I think Tam has a good chance of becoming another Long Hair.
On the other hand, can the animal lovers do something to help to prevent stray dogs getting into the railway system? The animals would have the chance of being killed but also causing accidents hurting a lot of train passengers.On this, I am thinking of the scenario where the train driver applies emergency brakes sending passenger rolling sliding inside the train cabinet. Is the owner of the stray dog also to be blamed?
They were all so upset they retired to a hotpot restaurant to greedily devour some less cute and anthropomorphized animals.
Apologize to a dead dog? Are you serious?
Some people are born with brains, others need procedures and regulations to tell them what to do. And if it's not in their procedures or on Facebook they are lost.
Unfortunately these are nowadays the muppets that run HK and its infrastructure.
try ordering big mac without meat in hongkomg. they will find it difficult to comprehend.
This story is extremely disturbing and demonstrates several things about Hong Kong:
(a) a general lack of compassion and respect towards animals. I note some people have commented that MTR did the right thing. Such heartless comments is evidence of the culture towards animals here.
(b) MTR officials and management, typical of Hong Kong style management can not think outside the box. All because there is no "procedure" in place does not mean you can not employ some common sense to the situation. Is saving a life not more important than sticking to a schedule?
I hate the MTR and all it stands for (greed, bureaucracy), I hope this piece of poor PR will cost them dearly.
Shame on the MTRC and stupidity of its staff at the station.
Sad that this stray dog died but people would be better off spending their time asking a) why are there so many stray dogs in HK and what are the authorities doing about it and b) why people feel the need to own so many dogs, some which are totally unsuitable to small flats and who I only ever see being walked by FDH (apart from those which idiot owners push around in a buggy - at least they pay the dog some attention I suppose).
Meanwhile cows get run over by idiot drivers in Lantau & Sai Kung but I don't see any petition about that.
Please donate to:
TNR FUND HK (a registered charitable institution in HK) was set up to support the desexing of stray and loosely-owned dogs (half-strays) in Hong Kong. Thousands of surplus dogs are killed in Hong Kong each year. Desexing is a much more humane way of dog population control and improves the welfare of stray dogs.




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