Date
21 August 2017
Passengers hold protest signs inside a train. At right, people put up a makeshift memorial. Middle photo shows an ill-equipped MTR staff trying to get the dog off the track  Photos: Facebook, Animal Post
Passengers hold protest signs inside a train. At right, people put up a makeshift memorial. Middle photo shows an ill-equipped MTR staff trying to get the dog off the track Photos: Facebook, Animal Post

Dog day debacle: MTR won’t apologize

A beleaguered MTR Corp. has issued three statements regarding the killing of a dog by a passing train but stopped short of apologizing for the incident.

Hong Kong’s railway operator defended its actions but said it could have handled the aftermath better, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.

The statements failed to quell public anger over the incident and public accusations over the operator’s lack of remorse are fueling a storm of protest on social media and in the streets.

By late Thursday, more than 80,000 people had joined a Facebook petition demanding a full accounting from MTR. Outside Fanling station, where the incident took place, residents held a protest rally. Some put up a makeshift memorial.  

On Friday, more dramatic photos surfaced on social media showing the dog on the track in Sheung Shui station and its lifeless body on the side of the railway in Fanling station shortly afterwards. 

The incident happened on Wednesday when the brown mongrel crossed onto the track in Sheung Shui station and refused to leave.

Passengers on the platform notified the station and MTR staff tried to get the dog to move. An incoming train was ordered to stop but was later allowed to resume the journey without waiting for the dog to be rescued, according to witnesses.

The scared animal ran to Fanling station where it was struck and killed by a high-speed train.

MTR said its staff in Sheung Shui station tried to get the dog off the track but failed. One employee was hurt trying to bring the dog out after it hid under the platform, MTR said in one statement.

At the same time, it pledged to meet with animal protection groups to explore measures to protect animals that enter its service areas in the future.

Legislator Claudia Mo called the MTR statements contradictory and demanded the rail company take responsibility and apologize.

Kevin Cheuk, chairman of the Animal-Friendly Alliance accused MTR of unprofessionalism in handling the situation and called for training programs to prevent similar incidents.

Meanwhile, trending topics on social media included a story in the New York Times in August last year about two cats trapped at the Cathedral Parkway subway station.

New York’s transport and police department ordered trains on opposite sides of the track to stop for two hours while a search was under way. The felines were rescued, according to the report.

Related article: 

Is sorry such as wretched thing to say?

MTR faces outcry after train kills dog

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TL/AC/RA

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