The Fire Services Department say police repeatedly told them that there were no casualties inside Prince Edward MTR Station on August 31 – even though there were several injured people inside, three of them severely hurt.

The events of that night have been under scrutiny due to persistent rumours that up to three people were beaten to death at the station, where police arrested dozens of people suspected of taking part in unauthorised anti-government protests.

Deputy chief ambulance officer, Tsang Man-ha, said at a press briefing on Thursday that police had originally told rescue workers there was no need for them to enter the station as there were no injured people inside.

Tsang said the police made this claim more than once.

It was only after rescue workers “coordinated” with officers that they were eventually allowed in, Tsang said.

Deputy chief fire officer Derek Chan added that the arrangements that night were not ideal.

“Regarding the delay, from a rescue perspective, it was not desirable. So I think later on, we will liaise with the police so as to work out a way to improve the coordination and collaboration in such large-scale incidents,” Chan said.

At the police’s daily briefing, held a short while later, chief superintendent John Tse said an officer manning a cordon at the concourse level of the station did tell ambulance personnel that they weren’t needed, but said this was down to a communication error.

The emergency services, government, Hospital Authority and MTR Corporation have all flatly rejected the rumours that people were killed at Prince Edward during the police operation.

But the fact that the media had been kept out of the station when the arrests took place, and that the casualty numbers initially reported were later revised down, have added to speculation that the authorities have something to hide.

The officials say seven of those arrested were eventually taken to hospital, after a delay of more than two hours. They were first taken by train to Lai King MTR Station to be transferred into ambulances.

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Last updated: 2019-09-12 HKT 16:36