That makes it three accidents this year so far

Top News | Sophie Hui and Cissy So 18 Sep 2019

There have been two other MTR derailments this year, but the accidents occurred when there were no passengers onboard.

But in April 1993, two interlinked MTR carriages with passengers disconnected on a Tsuen Wan line train between the Tsuen Wan and Tai Wo Hau stations, leaving three compartments behind. The train captain only realized what happened after the train arrived at Tai Wo Hau.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, though about 100 passengers had to walk to the platform through a dark tunnel.

In the early hours of March 18 this year, two trains collided at a crossover junction near Central station during the testing of a new signaling system.

The collision involved a train heading from Central to Admiralty and a Tsuen Wan-bound train from Admiralty to Central.

Due to a software problem in the new signaling system, the Central-bound train rammed into the third and fourth compartments of the Tsuen Wan-bound train.

There were no passengers onboard, but two drivers were injured and the two trains were severely damaged.

Carriage doors were torn off their hinges, while twisted metal parts and shattered glass were strewn across the cabin floor. One carriage derailed and was tilted on its side.

Services between Central and Admiralty stations on the Tsuen Wan line were disrupted for two days.

After a three-month investigation, the MTR Corp said the incident stemmed from a programming error resulting from changes made in 2017. A sequence of faults also caused the back-up systems to fail.

The investigation report said the contractor, Alstom-Thales DUAT Joint Venture, was responsible for the new signaling system.

Four months later, a locomotive derailed at a curve near University station, and train services between Fo Tan and Tai Po were suspended for nine hours.

The first carriage of the engineering train went off the tracks during routine track maintenance north of University station on July 25.

Meanwhile, lawmakers demanded checks of MTR facilities throughout the city, with one pointing to a severe shortage of repair staff, especially amid the recent unrest.

Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Michael Luk Chung-hung, vice chairman of the Legislative Council's Subcommittee on Matters Relating to Railways, said: "The union mentioned the acute shortage of maintenance staff and the succession problem before, in which part of the maintenance budget was being cut."

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