Blaze forces MTR to shut Mong Kok station - RTHK
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Blaze forces MTR to shut Mong Kok station

2020-02-29 HKT 22:19
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  • Blaze forces MTR to shut Mong Kok station
  • Burnt debris outside an entrance to the Mong Kok MTR station. Photo: RTHK
    Burnt debris outside an entrance to the Mong Kok MTR station. Photo: RTHK
  • Chaos in Nathan Road as a barricade is set on fire and protesters occupy the road. Photo: RTHK
    Chaos in Nathan Road as a barricade is set on fire and protesters occupy the road. Photo: RTHK
  • A protester being detained by police during Saturday's clashes. Photo: RTHK
    A protester being detained by police during Saturday's clashes. Photo: RTHK
The MTR Corporation closed down Mong Kok station shortly before 9 pm on Saturday after one of the exits was set on fire, as protesters and police clashed in the area, and violence flared up on Hong Kong streets after a relatively quiet period since early this month.

The protest, which started as a rally to mark six months since a police raid on Prince Edward MTR station on August 31, descended into chaos. Police fired several canisters of tear gas, while protesters put up barricades and set fire to them.

One fire was seen raging at a Mong Kok MTR station entrance, but it was put out by the sprinkler system. The rail operator then announced the station would be closed to protect the safety of its staff, passengers and safe rail operation.

Anti-government demonstrators also set some objects on fire on Nathan Road outside Grand Plaza and scattered soon after police reinforcements arrived.

Many riot police officers asked people on the pavements to leave after clearing the debris on Nathan Road, but some refused. This again saw tempers flare and police officers used pepper spray generously, with many reporters and photographers getting hit by the spray.

At least one arrest was made at the intersection of Portland Street and Soy street. A woman was arrested on Dundas street.

In a statement, police said, "rioters threw petrol bombs at the intersection of Argyle Street and Nathan Road endangering public safety".

"In light of this situation police had to use tear gas and minimum force to conduct dispersal and arrest operation," the statement said.

The clashes came a day after three veteran pro-democracy figures were arrested for taking part in the August 31 march that ended in the police storming of Prince Edward MTR Station.

Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, Yeung Sum and former lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan were arrested on Friday.