Massive MTR hit as dozens of stations close down

Top News | Charlotte Luo and Angel Kwan 2 Oct 2019

Much of the Mass Transit Railway system was blocked off yesterday as dozens of stations and two entire lines - Tsuen Wan and Ma On Shan - were closed in the face of widespread trouble.

And several stations were vandalized even after they had been closed.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said MTR Corp reached the decision to close stations after considering risks, referring to "the best arrangement for Hong Kong citizens."

But Democratic Party legislator Lam Cheuk-ting was angered by so many closures.

"MTRC collaborates with the government to obstruct citizens to get on the street to express political demands, affecting millions of people's transport, ignoring the social responsibility of the public transit system," Lam said.

In Jordan, protesters smashed the glass door of a station exit and broke a surveillance camera. In Admiralty, protesters dismantled a phone booth and rammed it at the Admiralty Center access. They also blocked the iron gate.

People broke the iron gate of Che Kung Temple station and sprayed black paint around.

Trouble loomed on Monday night when MTRC announced it would shut Admiralty, Wan Chai and Prince Edward stations early yesterday, and the warning was that access to other stations could be closed without notice.

Causeway Bay, Sham Shui Po, Wong Tai Sin, Sha Tin, Che Kung Temple, Tsuen Wan, Tsuen Wan West and Tuen Mun stations duly closed from 11am yesterday "due to upcoming public activities."

The Airport Express started to operate a nonstop service from Hong Kong Station to the airport from 2pm, skipping Kowloon and Tsing Yi in response to online threats to paralyze traffic to the airport once again.

The afternoon saw more stations closing, with Kwai Fong, Kwai Hing, Diamond Hill, Tai Wo Hau, Yau Ma Tei, Sai Ying Pun, Mong Kok, Lok Fu, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Yuen Long, Siu Hong, Shek Mun, City One, Central, Sha Tin Wai, and HKU stations shut.

It was shortly just before 4 pm that service on the entire Tsuen Wan Line was suspended.

At 6.45pm, the entire Ma On Shan Line was also closed.

Trouble continued to roll.

Long Ping station in Yuen Long closed shortly before 7 pm.

An hour later the fire alarm system at Choi Hung sounded and the station was evacuated. Then it closed.

Later, Tin Hau and Kowloon Bay stations were shut. And then Lam Tin, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O, Kam Sheung Road and Tin Shui Wai stations also closed.

Light Rail services also suffered, with 505, 507, 610, 614, 614P, 615, 615P and 751 suspended by 6pm.

Bus services were hit too.The KMB and Long Wing services to the airport were affected, with Routes A41, E42, S1, S64, S64P suspended and three others rerouted.

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