Power outage hits Hong Kong trains, sky lantern seen as culprit

Sky lantern
Sky lantern release in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo by Takeaway.

A sky lantern is suspected of causing a power outage on a railroad in Hong Kong, causing four trains to be disrupted for 25 minutes until repairs were made.

Below is an excerpt from an article at ejinsight.com:

Passengers aboard the trains were forced to wait in the cars before services gradually resumed about 25 minutes later after repairs were carried out.

MTR personnel investigating the incident found the remains of a sky lantern on top of one of the trains, although the railway operator did not confirm whether it had triggered the power failure, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Earlier that day, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) reminded the public that it is an offense to fly sky lanterns.

Under the law, people who fly sky lanterns could face a maximum fine of HK$2,000 and up to 14 days of imprisonment.

These dangerous devices use burning material to loft a small paper or plastic hot air balloon into the air. The perpetrator has no control over where it lands. Usually the fire goes out before it hits the ground, but not always. Sometimes the envelope catches fire while in flight. Numerous fires have been started by sky lanterns. Even if they don’t ignite a fire, they leave litter on the ground. Metal parts have been picked up by hay balers causing serious problems when fed to livestock. They are banned in most U.S. states and many countries.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.