Hong Kong Subway Trains Collide During Test of Signaling System

(Bloomberg) -- Two Hong Kong subway trains collided during a test run of a new signaling system, the second mishap in months for local rail operator MTR Corp.

The incident occurred Monday around 3 a.m., when train services weren’t open to the public, according to MTR. Two drivers were taken to the hospital, with one having a leg injury, MTR Operations Director Adi Lau said.

Hong Kong Subway Trains Collide During Test of Signaling System

The accident comes about five months after a rare, simultaneous signaling glitch on four subway lines caused chaos at stations during the morning peak-hour rush. Hong Kong’s subway, often lauded as being among Asia’s best, carries millions of passengers on weekdays.

Service on the Tsuen Wan line between Admiralty and Central, where Hong Kong’s main business districts are located, was suspended on Monday.

MTR shares fell as much as 1.3 percent before rebounding and rising 0.3 percent at the close in Hong Kong.

Preliminary findings show that there’s a problem with the new signaling system, according to Jacob Kam, MTR’s managing director and incoming chief executive officer. The company will investigate further before giving a more definitive cause for the collision, Kam told reporters Monday afternoon.

Hong Kong Subway Trains Collide During Test of Signaling System

The signaling system may be responsible for a 2017 crash in Singapore’s subway that injured 38 people, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Hong Kong Federation of Railway Trade Unions Chairman Lam Wai-keung.

Hong Kong’s government said it is following the situation closely. Frank Chan, secretary for transport and housing, contacted MTR Chairman Frederick Ma and asked the company to hold an urgent board meeting to investigate the incident.

MTR further said the company’s board will hold a meeting on Tuesday. Repairs may take more than a day, and the company said it plans to notify the public in due course.

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