Hong Kong MTR

Man charged with arson after Hong Kong MTR attack leaves 19 commuters injured

Suspect not expected to appear in Kowloon City Court in person when case is mentioned on Monday

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 February, 2017, 6:10pm
UPDATED : Monday, 13 February, 2017, 12:26am

A 60-year-old man has been charged with arson over Friday evening’s terrifying firebomb attack on an MTR train that left 19 people injured.

The suspect, Cheung Kam-fai, was not expected to appear in Kowloon City Court when the case is mentioned on Monday, police said. He was arrested on Friday following the incident at 7.14pm as the train travelled from Admiralty to Tsim Sha Tsui station.

A government spokeswoman said on Sunday that three people – two women and one man – remained in critical condition with serious burns. They are receiving treatment at the Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary hospitals.

The spokeswoman said she could not provide details of the conditions of the other injured passengers, but it is understood that at least nine were discharged from hospital by lunchtime on Saturday.

The youngest victim of the attack is 15-year-old Audrey Ko, a Form Four student at St Paul’s Co-educational College, who suffered burns to her legs.

Support and words of comfort continued to pour in on Sunday for Ko. A classmate visited her in hospital, bringing greeting cards from other friends who were still in shock over the incident.

She told reporters: “We hope that Audrey can get well soon and hang in there for now.”

A flower basket put together and signed by members of the public was also sent to Ko on Sunday, with a card that said: “Little sister, recover soon.”

Tsim Sha Tsui station reopened on Saturday morning. MTR services were running normally on the Tsuen Wan Line as many travelled to watch the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon on Sunday morning.

A spokesman for the MTR Corp said it would continue to help police with their investigations into Friday’s attack. The company is expected to submit an initial report on the incident to the government within a month.

He said the train on which the explosion occurred was at the ­depot and out of service.

The attack sparked fears about the safety of the city’s railway network, especially after it was revealed that only half of trains in the fleet had CCTV cameras, with new trains equipped with such systems to be ready by 2018.

It has been 13 years since commuters experienced the kind of terror seen in Friday’s attack.

In 2004, 14 people were injured on a train when an elderly man started a fire using paint thinner and liquefied petroleum gas. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Additional reporting by Danny Mok