No deaths were reported in Prince Edward case: HK authority
Published: Sep 10, 2019 04:58 PM

MTR train services on several lines were suspended in Hong Kong, as violent protesters try to prevent trains from operating on key metro stations. File photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

Hong Kong authorities reiterated on Tuesday that no deaths were reported at Prince Edward MTR station on August 31 and released relevant images from closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage to help dismiss widely-circulated rumors. 

Hong Kong authorities and the MTR have clarified repeatedly that no deaths were reported, though certain individuals spread malicious rumors in an attempt to slander the government, divide society and arouse public concern, Senior Superintendent of the Hong Kong Police Force, Yu Hoi-kwan, said during a media briefing on Tuesday. 

"Such rumors are false and ungrounded," she said, noting that such behaviors should be condemned. 

Yu's remarks were made after rumors were widely circulated that at least six people were beaten to death at Prince Edward MTR station on August 31, and that the bodies of the deceased were destroyed.

Hong Kong radical forces used the rumors as an excuse to incite public anger toward authorities, storm police stations and vandalize MTR stations. Each exit of the Prince Edward station was sprayed with sentences such as, "We want to see the dead bodies," and, "Give me the truth of August 31." Some people even burned incense, joss paper and clothes for the "deceased." 

One woman wearing a mask kneeled down to shout and cry outside the station, according to Hong Kong media reports. 

During the press conference, Yu said that police had arrested 53 suspects after receiving reports that protesters were vandalizing facilities at the Prince Edward station. Among the arrested, seven were sent to hospitals. She stressed that no reports about missing people or deaths were received. 

Andy Kung, senior manager of the Hospital Authority, said that a total of 46 injured people who were sent to 10 hospitals on August 31 were all discharged, and no deaths were reported. 

At the press conference, the Hong Kong MTR Corporation Limited released images from the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of August 31 at Prince Edward and other MTR stations, and said that the footage will be kept for three years. 

The images showed that police arrived at the Prince Edward station at around 11 pm, and that the station announced an emergency evacuation. Fire-service department officers and paramedics arrived 20 minutes later. 

In response to questions about why the MTR did not release the full CCTV footage, Chief of Operating of MTR Corporation Limited Sammy Wong Kwan-wai said that they understand public want to know more information about the incident, but there are also concerns about privacy issues as private data contained in the footage would affect the public. 

Wong said that two of the CCTV cameras at the platforms were damaged that night, and as such, the video footage they obtained was incomplete.