A man has been arrested for reportedly throwing a molotov cocktail on a packed MTR train during rush hour at Tsim She Tsui station in Hong Kong on Friday, leaving at least 18 people wounded.
The fire broke out at around 7 p.m. local time on a train traveling from Admiralty to Tsim Sha Tsui, forcing authorities to shut down the station and evacuate passengers.
Yau Tsim District Commander Kwok Pak-chung told South China Morning Post that a 60-year-old man, Cheung Kam-Fai, was arrested in connection with the incident.
The suspect allegedly shouted “burn you to death” before hurling the lit molotov and claimed he started the fire because of “personal reasons” involving a poor relationship with his family and disputes with his wife.
“Our initial investigations show the incident has nothing to do with [terrorism],” Pak-chung added.
One man and one woman were in critical condition, while two men and three women were in serious condition, and four men and six women were stable.
One had been released from one of the five public hospitals that were treating the injured.
“Patients suffered different injuries, including to their limbs and faces. For those with facial injuries, they might have inhaled thick or very hot gases,” said health minister Dr. Ko Wing-man, who went on to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Jordan.
Video and photos circulating on social media show fire and smoke in a train car, and firemen helping people out of the station, with one man completely engulfed in flames.
“That train journey felt particularly long,” 27-year-old Ray Chau told SCMP. “There was nothing we could do but inhale the smoke.”
“One minute we were all playing with our phones, the next there was smoke everywhere,” he added. “Some people thought there was an explosion, many people were screaming.”
Police blocked off the entrance to the station where several police vehicles and ambulances lined the street.
Inside the station, tissue paper and water bottles were scattered on the floor.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying expressed his sympathies to those injured and called for an investigation into the incident.