Man collapses as angry HK residents demand answers from MTR Corp over police use of tear gas in stations

22-Aug-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

A man taking pictures of an angry crowd inside a Hong Kong MTR station collapsed on Tuesday night after being surrounded by local residents, who had gathered to demand answers over police’s use of tear gas and rubber bullets in Tai Koo.

At least 100 people assembled outside the station’s control room, wanting to know what the MTR Corporation was doing to hold police accountable for an incident on August 11, when officers fired on anti-government protesters as they tried to escape through the station.

The rail operator has been under fire over two separate incidents, when police and protesters clashed inside Tai Koo and Kwai Fong stations.

“We have been studying the issue closely and have increased staff in the stations to ensure passengers’ safety,” an MTR employee told assembled residents.

But the statement met with more anger as the crowd felt the rail operator had not done enough.

“It has been a whole week and you are still trying to understand the situation,” they shouted back.

Residents then spotted a man in a blue shirt who appeared to be taking pictures of individuals in the crowd and demanded he delete the photos. The crowd started shouting “justice for June 4″, a reference to the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, and “free China” as they surrounded the man.

MTR staff tried to escort him out, but residents refused to allow him to leave before he explained why he was taking pictures. The man then apparently passed out and was taken away by paramedics.

Earlier on Tuesday, a notice was posted at Tai Koo station with a detailed timeline of the measures taken by station staff as protesters tried to escape the tear gas and rubber bullets being fired at them around one of the exits.

The notice said staff had noticed a sudden influx of passengers from exit C, and had taken crowd control measures including opening an emergency staircase, as well as warning other passengers not to leave from that exit.

Meanwhile, dozens of residents also gathered at Kwai Fong MTR station, where police fired tear gas inside the station. It was the first time tear gas had been used against protesters indoors since the civil unrest began on June 9.


Category: Hong Kong

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