Man dies after jumping on MTR tracks, causing one-hour disruption on Hong Kong’s East Rail line
Initial police investigation finds nothing suspicious in incident that took place during morning rush hour
A man died after jumping on the tracks at Fanling Station on Monday, causing East Rail line train services between Sheung Shui and Tai Wo to be suspended for about an hour during the morning rush hour.
Police said a 23-year-old man surnamed Pang was certified dead at the scene.
According to the police, the MTR staff reporting the case said Pang was hit by an arriving train that was unable to stop in time when he suddenly jumped onto the rail.
Police found no note at the scene and initial investigations found nothing suspicious.
Chief Transport Officer Ho Kwan-hang said railway operator MTR Corporation reported the incident to the Transport Department soon after 8am.
“Passengers should follow the instructions of MTR staff, pay attention to messages broadcast in stations and try to use other means of public transport,” Ho added.
Train services returned to normal at 9.14am, according to a public announcement.
During the service suspension, MTR arranged for free shuttles between Sheung Shui and Tai Wo. Train frequency between Sheung Shui and two stations to its north – Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau – was reduced to intervals of 10 minutes and 15 minutes respectively. Trains connecting Hung Hom to Tai Wo and Tai Po Market were limited to every six minutes and 10 minutes.
The Ma On Shan line, a branch line of the East Rail Line, saw journeys reduced to one every five minutes to prevent overcrowding at Tai Wai station, a connection point for the two lines.
Linking 13 stations from the Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau checkpoints at the border with mainland China with Hung Hom on the southern tip of Kowloon, the East Rail line is one of the busiest in Hong Kong. It transports an average of 172,000 passengers during morning peak hours, according to MTR Corp.
The 13 stations would not be outfitted with automatic guard doors along the platforms until the Tuen Ma Line – part of the Sha Tin-Central Link – was open for service, an MTR spokesman said. Such an installation would take place when the “transport burden” could be shared with service on the East Rail Line and when all trains could be replaced with newer models.
Connecting Tuen Mun and Ma On Shan, which are located at the west and east ends of the New Territories, the Tuen Ma Line was originally set to be commissioned in the middle of 2019. However, its exact launch date is now uncertain as construction on the Sha Tin-Central Link has been delayed.