Kwun Tong MTR Station Photo: Google Map
Kwun Tong MTR Station Photo: Google Map

Traffic in the East Kowloon area of Hong Kong was reported to be at a standstill during the Monday evening rush hour after a power failure hit the Kwun Tong line of the city’s railway system. Commuters had to line up for shuttle buses or seek other transportation due to a 2.5-hour suspension of train services.

At 6pm, the power cable between Choi Hung and Kowloon Bay became faulty, meaning train services between Kwun Tong and Kowloon Tong were suspended. The system resumed at around 8:25pm, Apple Daily reported.

Ngau Tau Kok, one of the affected MTR stations, was badly congested, while long queues were pictured on social media at bus stops in Kwun Tong.

Many commuters were trapped inside carriages on halted trains and some reported feeling unwell due to the lack of air-conditioning. They had to walk along rail tracks inside darkened tunnels to escape, as this video posted on Facebook shows.

The MTR Corporation (the company, majority-owned by the Hong Kong government, which runs the network) said a faulty overhead cable had triggered an automatic power shutdown affecting eight stations between Kowloon Tong and Kwun Tong. It said a further investigation into what had happened to the overhead cable would be conducted.

Adi Lau Tin-shing, the company’s deputy director (operating), apologized for the chaos caused.

Earlier on Monday, train services on the MTR’s Tung Chung line had been delayed for about 1.5 hours from 9.10am, according to an am730 report. The MTR Corporation is expected to be fined at least HK$5 million (US$643,384) for two counts of delays in train services in one day.

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