Date
17 December 2018
Launching a sky lantern may be part of the Chinese tradition of celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival, but it is an offense in Hong Kong because of the potential harm it may bring. Photo: Xinhua
Launching a sky lantern may be part of the Chinese tradition of celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival, but it is an offense in Hong Kong because of the potential harm it may bring. Photo: Xinhua

Power outage hits MTR trains, sky lantern seen as culprit

Several MTR trains packed with passengers suffered a power outage on the West Rail Line on Monday night, and the culprit could be a sky lantern used to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The disruption, which took place sometime after 10 p.m., affected four trains bound for Hung Hom and Tuen Mun, media reports said.

Passengers aboard the trains were forced to wait in the cars before services gradually resumed about 25 minutes later after repairs were carried out.

MTR personnel investigating the incident found the remains of a sky lantern on top of one of the trains, although the railway operator did not confirm whether it had triggered the power failure, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Earlier that day, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) reminded the public that it is an offense to fly sky lanterns.

Under the law, people who fly sky lanterns could face a maximum fine of HK$2,000 and up to 14 days of imprisonment.

On Monday night thousands of people gathered at Victoria Park, where the LCSD held a carnival featuring entertainment programs and lantern displays to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Cleaners had their hands full cleaning up the garbage left behind.

In Sau Mau Ping, a 79-year-old man and his wife, 80, were injured after two lanterns in their bedroom caught fire while they were asleep around 1 a.m. on Tuesday.

The couple, who suffered burns as they tried to put out the fire, were rushed to the hospital and later declared in stable condition.

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TL/JC/CG

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