On Monday morning, March 18, two subway trains collided along one of Hong Kong’s MTR subway lines, causing a major disruption for commuters throughout the day.
The trains collided on the Tsuen Wan Line at around 3am on Monday morning. According to the Guardian, it is expected to take an extended period of time to repair the line and service has been suspended between Central and Admiralty, leaving people with no choice but to find an alternative route home on Monday evening. Service between the two stations remains suspended as of press time, while other MTR lines and stations along the Tsuen Wan Line are running as normal.
Fortunately, neither train was carrying passengers at the time of the collision. The operators of both trains have reportedly been taken to hospital.
Image via @凤凰卫视/Weibo
South China Morning Post reported that a “signaling software failure” caused the underground crash, and that other public transportation channels have revved up services to accommodate the influx of commuters searching for a new way to and from work.
The crash occurred during a trial run of the new signal system that MTR is currently integrating into their complex metro network, which covers over 200 kilometers of rail and accommodates nearly six million people every weekday.
Image via MTR
Central and Admiralty stations are major subway stops along the Tsuen Wan Line, and experience a significant amount of traffic daily. Central Station is connected to Hong Kong Station, which is on the same line as Hong Kong International Airport. Admiralty is a transfer station for both the Island Line and South Island Line.
The aftermath of the crash. Image via @你的喜宝/Weibo
People online reiterated how fortunate it was that no passengers were on board. One netizen on Weibo posted, “I never thought this kind of accident would happen in Hong Kong, thankfully this crash did not result in casualties.”
According to Jacob Kam Chak-pui, MTR Corp’s managing director, the new system allowed two trains to pass through the same crossing, which is what caused the crash. Trials of the new signaling system will be suspended for the foreseeable future as an investigation continues.
[Cover image via @凤凰卫视 /Weibo]