Hong Kong Central MTR station reopens after rioters' vandalism, yet scars remain

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Roundup: Hong Kong Central MTR station reopens after rioters' vandalism, yet scars remain - China.org.cn

As commuters walked past the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Central Station on Monday morning, signs of vandalism by rioters a day before were hard to be ignored.

Inside the station at the Hong Kong Central District that features skyscrapers and top-brand shops, commuters jostled their way to the front of the platform, passing the red-painted ticket machines and blackened floors.

Outside the station, though the debris had been cleaned up, railings and signs were still piled up besides the exits, with a piece of white cloth covering a blank space where glass panels used to be installed.

As the unrest entered the third month in Hong Kong, rioters on Sunday smashed windows, obstructed escalators and vandalized facilities at the MTR Central station before starting the arson at one of the exits, forcing the close-down of the station.

They also built barricades with dismantled road railings, trash bins and other miscellaneous objects on streets in Central and Admiralty areas.

Huge smokes billowed into the sky before fire fighters came and extinguished the fire.

According to the MTR, at least four stations, including Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai and Tin Hau stations, were severely vandalized during the unrest on Sunday.

In addition, an MTR station staff member carrying out his duty at an exit of Central Station was injured when a violent protester threw a hard object at him.

"The Corporation expresses its deep anger over the acts which threatened the safety of passengers and MTR staff as well as caused injury to an MTR staff member. The Corporation reiterates that it does not tolerate any act of violence," the MTR said in a statement.

Accompanied by Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan and senior officials from the MTR, Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam examined turnstiles and other damaged facilities at Central Station on Monday.

On Aug. 30 the MTR obtained an order for the continuation of an Interim Injunction Order granted on Aug. 23 that restrains persons from "unlawfully and willfully obstructing or interfering with the proper use and operation of the railway."

The injunction also restrains persons from damaging any property at any station of the railway, or using any threatening language or behaving in a riotous or disorderly manner at any station of the railway.

Though copies of the injunction issued by the court were displayed on the walls of MTR stations, rioters continued to wreak havoc at the stations.

"But those radical protesters seem not to be afraid of the law," an MTR staff said.

Calling for protesters to "respect commuters' rights," Secretary for Transport and Housing Chan told reporters on Monday that by damaging MTR facilities, the radical protesters also delivered a heavy blow to the efficient public services enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong. 

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