MTR admits malfunctioning of help switch in disabled toilet at Hung Hom Station where 66-year-old man found dead in July 2022

Hui had always been healthy and exercised a lot.

28th September 2022 – (Hong Kong)  A 66-year-old man surnamed Hui was found lying unconscious in a disabled toilet at MTR Hung Hom Station on 20th July 2022 and was certified dead after being sent to the hospital. The MTR staff were notified by the family of the decease when he disappeared but it took more than four hours before a cleaner discovered that the victim was in a coma in the disabled toilet, which caused concern, and even questioned the staff’s handling and tracing procedures. A district councillor, Leo Chu said today (28th) that the family of the deceased received a reply from the MTR to highlight on the investigation over the incident and improvement measures, and even admitted that the help switch in the disabled toilet malfunctioned. Chu questioned whether the case involved negligence and criminality, and whether the deceased pressed the button for help at that time.

Hui’s son added that if the MTR could go one step further and check the CCTV, the incident might not happen. He said that his father was a retired civil servant. He had always been healthy and exercised a lot. He found it difficult to accept the sudden news.

The MTR said that it has launched an internal investigation immediately after the incident to reorganise the incident. However, since many employees and outsourced contractors were involved in the tracing process that day, it took a considerable amount of time to verify various details. The investigated reviewed aspects of the search process, related toilet cleaning and management, and communication with family members.

MTR pointed out that there were indeed shortcomings in the handling, follow-up and communication on that day, and apologised for the incident. According to the internal investigation, the MTR explained to the family members in mid-August, and apologised for not being able to assist in retrieving the deceased as soon as possible, and would follow-up if necessary. Chu also pointed out that the police investigation is still in progress and he is still assisting his family in providing legal support, and the coroner’s appointment has not yet been determined.

In addition, the MTR also pointed out that it has carried out a series of follow-up and improvement work immediately after the incident, including reviewing and improving the handling and follow-up arrangements when seeking assistance; continuously improving the communication between staff and those seeking assistance. MTR also installed motion sensors in all 64 disabled toilets within 3 months after the incident.