Anti-government protesters disrupt Hong Kong's MTR train services during morning rush

Anti-government protesters disrupt Hong Kong's MTR train services during morning rush

Hong Kong MTR delay protesters
Two protesters are surrounded by police officers while sitting on the floor saying he is injured at a subway platform in Hong Kong. (Photo: AP/Vincent Yu)

HONG KONG: Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong blocked train doors and disrupted Mass Transit Railway (MTR) services during the morning rush on Wednesday (Jul 24), causing commuters to be stranded on station platforms.

"Train service on the Island Line was delayed this morning (24 Jul, 2019) because of a number of train door obstruction incidents and operations of passenger alarm device," said MTR in an emailed notification to affected passengers.

It added that train services were affected between 7.47am and 9.15am.

"Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused," MTR said.

Hong Kong protester delays MTR during morning rush 1
A protester is surrounded by police officers while sitting on the floor saying he is injured at a subway platform in Hong Kong. (Photo: AP/Vincent Yu)

Hong Kong protester delay MTR during morning rush
Two protesters are surrounded by police officers while sitting on the floor saying he is injured at a subway platform in Hong Kong. (Photo: AP/Vincent Yu)

Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) reported that dozens of masked protesters blocked the doors of a Chai Wan-bound train at Admiralty station for nearly 15 minutes from around 8.15am.

They were chanting "Hong Kong police break the law knowingly", according to the report. Protesters can also be heard hurling vulgarities at police officers in a video circulating on social media.

READ: China says army can help maintain order in Hong Kong if requested

Train services on MTR's Island Line were disrupted by protesters on Jul 24, 2019
(Photo: Weibo / 香港攻略_馨小文文)

Another video showed a man complaining about the police's inaction, saying that another man had pushed him.

"You've been here so long. You and all you colleagues are surrounding me. Are you all helping him?" the man said.

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Hong Kong MTR delayed by protester
A passenger reacts to protesters blocking train doors, stopping the trains from leaving at a subway platform in Hong Kong. (Photo: AP/Vincent Yu)

Hong Kong MTR delayed by protester 2
A protester in black shirt gestures against some passengers as he blocked the train doors, stopping the trains from leaving at a subway platform in Hong Kong. (Photo: AP/Vincent Yu)

Some commuters interviewed by public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong seemed to be willing to accommodate the protesters.

"They (the protesters) just want to do something. I'll be late for work, but it's not a big deal," said a woman.

Anti-government protesters blocking train doors in Hong Kong on Jul 24, 2019
Anti-government protesters disrupted train services in Hong Kong on Jul 24, 2019. (Photo: Weibo / 香港傻事)

Extradition Bill protesters at an MTR station in Hong Kong on Jul 24, 2019
Screengrab of a video on Twitter showing extradition Bill protesters at an MTR station in Hong Kong on Jul 24, 2019. 

Another man said: "The people involved in the Jul 21 incident went too far. These people today need to voice their opinions, I think it's acceptable.

"At least, they aren't using violence to hurt other people. It has taken up some of our time, but compared with the others being hurt, a little sacrifice of my time is nothing."

An unofficial MTR Twitter account managed by staff members and passengers said a passenger had impeded one of the trains.

"The station staff is arranging the passenger concerned to leave the railway premises," it said. "Trains on Island Line will be held for a short while."

According to Bloomberg, MTR had warned that travel times were extended by 10 to 15 minutes due to “a number of train door obstruction incidents”.

Protesters who have been campaigning for weeks against Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s now-"dead" extradition Bill had said they planned to interrupt the morning service, the Bloomberg report said.

Anti-government protesters on Sunday were attacked by men armed with poles and rods at a railway station in the rural town of Yuen Long as they returned from another huge rally. At least 45 people were injured.

READ: 'Triad' attack on Hong Kong protesters sparks anger

Source: CNA/jt(cy)

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