Man arrested after blaze in HK injures at least 18
A man was arrested after he hurled a firebomb on a crowded MTR train in Hong Kong on Friday evening, injuring at least 18 people, local media reported.
The 18 injured received treatment on-site or in nearby hospitals, including two in critical condition and five severely injured. One had been discharged, Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) reported.
The attack happened on the Tsuen Wan Line as the train was pulling into Tsim Sha Tsui station shortly after 7:00 pm, forcing authorities to shut down one of the city’s busiest transport interchanges, as the platform was turned into a triage zone for shell-shocked victims requiring first aid, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
Yau Tsim District Commander Kwok Pak-chung told the SCMP that a 60-year-old man, Cheung Kam-Fai, was arrested in connection with the incident. He claimed to have started the fire for “personal reasons.”
The suspect said “burn you to death” before he drew the bottle and lit it, a police source told SCMP.
He was also badly injured and was transferred from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Jordan to Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin – where he was said to be in a critical condition, according to the SCMP.
The suspect, who is married and has a son and a daughter, had been arrested in connection with minor offences such as gambling in the past, the report added.
A police source told RTHK that initial investigation showed the suspect had a poor relationship with his family and had disputes with his wife, and officers believe the move was prompted by his personal and family problems.
Police are investigating whether he wanted to attack the other passengers or tried to set himself alight.
Videos circulating online showed chaos on the platform at Tsim Sha Tsui station, with parts of the cabin on fire and one passenger lying on the platform with his clothes ablaze as bystanders tried to help him, AFP reported. Officials said over 130 officers were on the scene and the operation involved 16 fire engines and 18 ambulances, RTHK reported.