17 injured in Hong Kong subway fire

Police arrested a man over a suspected arson attack on Friday (February 10) after fire broke out inside a train at a busy Hong Kong subway station during rush hour. At least 17 people were injured, including two who are in a critical condition.

A 60-year-old man surnamed Cheung, who was seriously injured in the incident, admitted he started the fire while the train was headed to the busy Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district, district Police Commander Kwok Pak-chung told reporters.

“From our investigations, we believe it happened because of the offender’s personal reasons. We have no reason to believe this is a terror attack,” Kwok said.

Online media footage, which Reuters could not independently verify, showed people beating out the flames on a man’s legs as he lay on the platform. Kwok told reporters the man, whose trousers appeared to be completely burned, was likely to be Cheung.

Another video showed flames burning several items scattered inside the train. It then showed a crowd on the platform who appeared calm as they pointed their phones at the fire. A fire alarm sounded in the station and a man could be heard shouting: “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go.”

Two passengers in the underground train which crossed Victoria Harbour told Reuters they saw a lot of smoke.

Hong Kong leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, said in a statement he was “highly concerned” about the incident and has asked the relevant departments to investigate