Date
20 July 2019
The 17-meter-long iron railing (pictured), which led to train service disruptions, had been removed from the footbridge near the Tai Wo MTR Station in Tai Po. Photo: i-Cable News
The 17-meter-long iron railing (pictured), which led to train service disruptions, had been removed from the footbridge near the Tai Wo MTR Station in Tai Po. Photo: i-Cable News

Police probe suspected power cable vandalism on East Rail Line

Police have launched an investigation after an overhead power cable used for the MTR East Rail Line was found early Sunday morning to have been sabotaged by a metal object, resulting in about one hour of train service disruptions, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Vandals were suspected to be responsible for the damage because the object was one of the iron handrails installed at a nearby footbridge, from which it appeared to have been torn.

According to MTR, the incident took place at around 5 a.m., when its staff was conducting regular maintenance checks before Sunday’s services began.

Police were called after one end of a 17-meter-long iron railing was found lying on an overhead power cable under a footbridge on Tai Wo Service Road East near Tai Wo MTR Station in Tai Po, with parts of the railing blackened by smoke.

Police who arrived at the scene found a handrail of the footbridge was cut by a sharp tool and thrown onto the cable.

Train services between Tai Po Market and Fanling were suspended in the early morning and resumed around 6:15 a.m. after MTR staff removed the handrail and repaired the power cable.

The Tai Po district crime squad was in charge of the case, which was listed as criminal damage. No arrests have been made so far.

It is understood that police did not rule out there could be more than one vandal since the handrail was long and heavy.

No suspects were caught; the surveillance cameras at the footbridge were not connected to power when the incident happened.

Under the MTR by-laws, no person shall improperly touch, use, meddle, damage or otherwise interfere with any electrical plant, overhead wiring or other forms of electrical installations or equipment on the railway.

An offender is liable on conviction to a fine of up to HK$5,000 and six months imprisonment.

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TL/JC/CG

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