On the night of August 31, the police were carrying out an operation at Prince Edward subway station. Whether anybody died in Prince Edward Station on August 31 is a question on everyone’s mind.
The police, fire department and MTR have not given a full account of what happened in the station that night, including disclosing the CCTV footage from the station.
To seek the truth, FactWire spoke with 47 people who were arrested in the station to try to reconstruct the situation that night. After three months of investigations, we could not conclude that anybody had died. We will share our findings at this stage for the sake of public interest.
On the night of August 31, the police were carrying out an operation at Prince Edward subway station. Police officers drove reporters away and stopped paramedics from entering the station. Records which were later shown by the Fire Services Department showed that the number of injured people fell from 10 to seven.
The discrepancy in the injuries and the closure of the subway station for more than 30 hours afterward have caused many to suspect that police had beaten people to death.
The police said they arrested 52 people at Prince Edward station that night. FactWire interviewed 47 of them and reconstructed the arrestees’ locations, movements and the timeline of different incidents based on their experiences that night.
Rumors that six injured arrestees had been killed have been circulating. FactWire got in touch with them and verified that they were either sent to a hospital or to a police station that night.
— Difficulty breathing and chest pain —
Police made arrests at Prince Edward station at around 10:55 pm on August 31.
Officers from the Special Tactical Squad and riot police rushed down to the platform and carriages to subdue members of the public. Many locations were left bloodied.
According to the police, 44 men and eight women were arrested at the station that night. Of them, six were rumored to have been murdered.
The six included a man who received CPR after fainting, a man who experienced a panic attack, a man in black armor, a man in blue trousers, a man in black who was pushed down by a Special Tactical Squad officer and a man who was suspected to have lost consciousness after being subdued by an officer of that squad.
FactWire got in touch with them and found out how they left Prince Edward station.
At least 40 people were arrested near the escalator leading from L3 to the station concourse. The arrestees were brought to a place on the platform 15 meters away and asked to squat and face the wall. A number of arrested people said they saw an overweight man fainting and police resuscitating him.
Over 20 arrestees confirmed that the overweight man, in a blue shirt, had been subdued by a Special Tactical Squad officer and zip tied up on the L3 train platform. Riot police were also guarding that man.
The man had told officers that he had difficulty breathing, had chest pains, and requested for the zip tie to be loosened, but was ignored. He lost consciousness in a short while and other arrestees immediately alerted the officers, who cut the tie around his hands and conducted CPR.
The man then regained consciousness. An officer gave him water, but he later spat it out as white foam.
Four firefighters arrived later. One of them used equipment to inspect the man. Paramedics soon tended to him before he was transported by train to Lai Chi Kok station with other arrested and injured people. The man was later taken to a hospital.
At the end of the L3 platform, at least ten arrestees said they saw a man wearing a dark shirt with a large frame have a panic attack. That man remained conscious throughout the process.
Based on the accounts of 10 arrestees and the man himself, he was arrested on the escalator leading from L3 to the concourse. He was later brought to the end of the platform to face the wall, during which he told officers that he felt dizzy and had difficulty breathing, signs of having a panic attack.
Later four to five firefighters tended to him and told him to slow down his breathing.
Paramedics later took over his treatment and he was transported to a hospital via Lai Chi Kok station.
— Rumored disappearances —
Another two men were also rumored to have disappeared after being arrested in Prince Edward station.
One of them was wearing black armor. He was pressed onto the ground by police near the escalator on L3. He was later brought to the end of the platform.
The other man was wearing blue pants that night and had once scrambled up the escalator. He was also arrested together with other people on the escalator.
Multiple people who were arrested near the L3 escalator confirmed with FactWire that the two men had boarded a special train on L2 platform together with them to Lai Chi Kok station and had seen them at the Kwai Chung police station.
A man in black was subdued by police officers on the L3 platform near carriage gate 5. A Special Tactical Squad officer had knelt on the back of the man’s neck. As the man was later surrounded by other members of the Special Tactical Squad and media were blocked from filming this location, many suspected that this man was beaten to death.
However, after reviewing various media clips and online videos, the man in black was ordered by a police officer to sit against the wall after he was subdued on the ground. Later on, three other arrestees were brought to the same location and asked to sit down.
Another man in black, wearing a scarf with a red and blue pattern was subdued by a Special Tactical Squad officer on the ground on an escalator leading to L2. During this process, he had no reaction — his eyes were blank and his mouth was slightly open.
Upon reviewing multiple videos, the man regained consciousness later and was taken to a gate on the platform near carriage gate 5. He was seen sitting next to the other man wearing black who was subdued by a Special Tactical Squad officer.
Based on the accounts from four arrestees at that location, they were sitting next to each other. Even though some of them were injured, they were all conscious from between the time they were arrested and when they were taken away from Prince Edward station.
They were brought on a special train to Lai Chi Kok station and were then transferred to Kwai Chung police station.
These six people are all represented by lawyers and they have recommended not to publish photos of their clients.
According to media reports and live feeds, police drove reporters up to the ground level at around 11:45 pm that night. From then, there was no media coverage inside Prince Edward station.
Witness accounts differ as some of them had been asked to face the wall and were relocated by police officers.
FactWire summarized all the accounts and verified them with the arrested people’s personal experiences.