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Hong Kong MTR

Blaze on rail milling train disrupts MTR service on Tseung Kwan O line for more than two hours

HK$72 million train was near Lohas Park station when fire alarm went off

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 May, 2016, 2:59pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 May, 2016, 3:49pm

Train service on the Tseung Kwan O MTR line was disrupted for more than two hours on Monday morning after smoke poured out of a rail milling train, triggering its fire alarm.

The incident happened shortly before 4.30am, when the HK$72 million train was about 300 metres away from Lohas Park station.

After the completion of its track works, the train was connected to a locomotive and was about to be towed back to its depot, according to MTR Corporation head of operations Francis Li Shing-kee.

“When the milling train’s generator was turned on, its fire alarm went off,” he said.

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Maintenance workers informed the MTR control centre and the Fire Services Department.

Li said staff tried to fight the blaze with an extinguisher before firefighters arrived.

Using two extinguishers, firefighters put out the fire at 5.20am, according to a government spokeswoman, who added that two teams of firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were also deployed.

She said no casualties were reported in the second-alarm fire. Fires in the city are rated on a scale of one to five alarms according to their seriousness.

An MTR Corp spokesman said the milling train was slightly damaged and had been towed to its Tseung Kwan O depot for inspection.

According to MTR Corp, train service between Lohas Park and Tseung Kwan O stations originally began shortly before 6am, but the incident halted operations for about half an hour.

The railway company offered passengers shuttle bus services in the meantime.

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At 6.25am, trains were running at 12-minute intervals between the two stations, up from the usual six to seven minutes. At 8.10am, after a thorough inspection of the tracks, platforms and other facilities, train service was back to normal.

The spokesman said service between Po Lam and North Point stations was disrupted for more than an hour.

MTR Corp is still investigating the cause of the incident.

The rail milling train, which went into service last July, is one of two trains bought from Austria last year. They are able to finish a kilometre of track in three hours, rather than the 700 metres the other machines can work on in the same time.