• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 12:00am
NewsHong Kong

Hundreds stage funeral procession for dog killed by MTR train

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 4:52am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 August, 2014, 1:24pm

Hundreds of people turned up to mourn a dog killed after straying onto railway tracks on Wednesday, as pressure built on the MTR Corporation to take responsibility and avoid a repeat of the case.

They gathered dressed in black at Sheung Shui MTR station, where the dog was first spotted, before proceeding like a funeral procession to Fanling, where the dog was run over by a train from Shenzhen.

Amid a heavy police presence, they carried flowers and tied ribbons to the fence in remembrance of the dog. They say MTR staff should have held the intercity train and coaxed the animal off the track.

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

"It's about the lack of respect for life," said one tearful participant, Eleanor Yuen Chan-lai. "I'm most angry about how the MTR handled the situation. This could've been avoided, but they did not value life."

The dog's death has sparked a petition signed by more than 90,000 people, and a protest outside MTR Corp headquarters.

Anger over a matter that, to some, might seem small could indicate wider social grievances, according to Chinese University sociologist Dr Chan Kin-man.

"There's a lot of compressed issues behind this. The fact is that there is monopoly in both Hong Kong's economy and politics, and people are feeling very disconnected and ignored by the big companies and the government," said Chan, a co-organiser of the Occupy Central pro-democracy movement. "The widespread outrage could be due to the common Hongkonger's feeling of being alienated."

Chan said many protesters had other grievances with the MTR Corp. The company has been under fire over a range of issues, including service delays and construction problems, which have pushed back the completion of the already controversial cross-border high-speed rail link by two years.

Secondary school pupil Lee Ka-po, who witnessed Wednesday's incident, questioned the claims that staff did their best to coax the dog off the track. "My mum and I tried to go down there, and so did other people, but were stopped by the MTR staff," said Lee, who said she told staff she had experience rescuing animals for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The MTR Corp said on Friday that it was "sorry" about the dog's death and would improve staff training and procedures.


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This article is now closed to comments

Good grief a funeral march for a stray mutt
These people need committing to mental asylum
It seems many people in HK have lots of time on their hands to stage a demonstration for a dead stray dog. Well, congratulations to them; the rest of us are working to make ends meet.
Such misplaced anger and effort, these people are just venting steam against the government. Please instead divert your efforts to more useful and pressing concerns such as the property tycoons/government collusion or the awful HYK.
MTR is not bus or taxi cab which you can stop for minutes (if not hours) to soft talk your doggy off the track. every minute talking to the dog means delay on the up line and the down line, possibly affecting other lines. try tell the guy at Tsim Sha Tsui catching the train to Central that the train ain't coming because they are talky to the doggy....
It seems to me the right thing would have been to shoot the dog with a drugged dart, get it off the track and move on. That way it's not inhumane and there's no great disruption of service. The whole reason this became an issue at all is that it happened at a station platform with people watching and waiting. If the dog wanders onto the track between stations, it dies either when a train whizzes past or is electrocuted. But the idea that this incident is somehow symbolic of societal ills in Hong Kong is just absurd. Sometimes a dead dog is just a dead dog.
For those who haven't seen it, please see this video of what really happened, and then decide for yourself whether or not the dog could be saved, and whether or not anybody was complicit in its death.
These people need to visit an abattoir and be reminded of what they eat every day and how it is killed.
It is time to move on now. MTR should put in better procedures but it was a correct decision to not spend more time on the dog. The owner should take care of it, so go to protest with the owner instead and not the MTR. Besides, millions of animals are killed everyday for food anyway, but not a peep from the activists.
I love Hong Kong (people who protest to protect our home) and animals but in this case I must side with the MTR. Firstly the MTR staff made a genuine effort to get the dog off the tracks but the dog evaded those trying to to help it. Next, if the MTR staff would have decided to cause a longer delay they would have heard complaints from the public in addition to having to answer to the government for another delay. Unfortunately there are limits and in this case the MTR staff tried their best within the circumstances. Of course if it were a person on the track they could not resume service until the person was removed but the person could be held responsible, financially or through other means in the courts.
Will Hong Kongers stage a funeral march every time a cadaver is collected from tracks, roads, water reservoir or out of the Fragrant Harbour? And the SCMP will report about it, at length?
It more and more appears to me that some people will not shy away from anything to stir up trouble in the SAR



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