14 February 2007
Incident at West Rail Tai Lam Tunnel
The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) sincerely regrets the incident inside the Tai Lam Tunnel on West Rail at about 9:15 am today which resulted in the emergency evacuation of passengers from the south-bound affected train. Service inside the adjoining north-bound tunnel was also halted.
A KCRC spokesman said, "We thank passengers for following the driver's direction to evacuate, and move away from the smoke towards Tsuen Wan West Station. There were lights inside both tunnels and passengers were evacuated via train doors onto the emergency walkway of the incident tunnel in a safe manner. From the emergency walkway they had access onto the track walkways in both tunnels to reach Tsuen Wan West.
"At that time the smoke evacuation system was triggered, extracting smoke in the opposite direction towards the northern end of the tunnel.
"Trains in both directions between Kam Sheung Road and Tsuen Wan West were halted to allow Fire Services Department access and the safe evacuation of passengers. There were some reported cases of passengers affected by the incident being taken to hospital for examination.
The spokesman said all KCRC staff are trained to perform in such an emergency situation. A full investigation will be launched immediately to find out the cause of the power equipment failure that appears to have resulted in a small fire and heavy smoke emitted from the roof of the sixth carriage of the seven-car train while it was heading towards Tsuen Wan.
KCRC apologizes to all West Rail passengers for the disruption arising from the incident. Loop services were maintained from Nam Cheong to Tsuen Wan West Stations and from Kam Sheung Road to Tuen Mun Stations with shuttle buses from Kam Sheung Road to Tsuen Wan West. Bus services from other operators were also available for rail passengers.
The Government including the Railway Inspector were kept fully informed from the time of the incident, and approval from the Railway Inspector has been obtained for the resumption of service in the affected tunnel. Full service was resumed at 12:54 pm.