2nd October 2023 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong experienced an unprecedented rainstorm early last month, resulting in widespread flooding at multiple MTR stations. Among them, MTR Wong Tai Sin Station on the Kwun Tong Line was particularly affected. Currently, repairs at Wong Tai Sin Station are nearing completion, but nearly two-thirds of the escalators remain closed. The exact cost of damages and repairs has yet to be determined. Frontline staff who were on duty that night recalled the sudden downpour that flooded the station within minutes, with water flowing onto the platforms. In an urgent response, the decision was made to evacuate and ensure the safety of approximately 100 people inside the station. Following the incident, over 900 personnel were deployed by MTR to handle the accumulated water and carry out repairs, with the aim of restoring train services as soon as possible.
During the period of the Black Rainstorm Warning Signal on the 7th of last month, Wong Tai Sin Station was inundated with floodwater, leading to the suspension of train services. Normal operations only resumed with the first train on the 9th of the same month. After more than three weeks, although repairs to the station’s damaged facilities have been largely completed, such as the reopening of Exit B3, 14 escalators have suffered varying degrees of damage and require gradual repair or replacement, with nine of them still out of service. Some areas of the platforms continue to experience leaks, and multiple water buckets are still placed to collect the seepage.
Ko Wan-lung, Senior Station Manager of Wong Tai Sin Station, recollected that around 11.45pm that night, water gradually seeped into Exits A and E. Station staff promptly deployed flood barriers where feasible. However, within less than 10 minutes, a large volume of rainwater surged into the concourse through Exit B, prompting an urgent notification to the Operations Control Centre and the immediate evacuation of the station. Trains passing through the station were required to skip the platform and alight passengers at Diamond Hill Station.
Ko Wan-lung admitted that the severity of the flooding at Wong Tai Sin Station was unprecedented, but in the heat of the moment, they did not have time to think about much else. The primary focus was on assisting approximately 100 passengers, shop employees, and contractors in safely exiting the station. One male passenger with limited mobility had to wait on top of the fare gates for rescue, as he was unable to leave on his own. Fortunately, everyone was safely evacuated. Once the evacuation was completed, the flood barriers at Exit B were activated. At that time, the water level in the concourse had risen to calf height, while the platform experienced more severe flooding, with a water depth of about 0.8 meters, reaching almost waist level.
Cheung Tsun-nin, an engineering officer responsible for maintenance at MTR, mentioned that upon receiving reports of flooding at Wong Tai Sin Station that night, their maintenance team rushed to provide support. Due to the presence of a large amount of sludge and debris in the accumulated water, the progress of drainage was hindered by repeated blockages of tunnel drains and pipes. To address this, the engineering team had to employ more than 10 pumps and vacuum machines simultaneously to clear the water. They then proceeded to carry out a large-scale cleanup of the concourse and residual sludge, while also inspecting the station’s facilities and conducting drying and repair work.