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Experts to examine wreckage from fatal bus crash

2018-02-11 HKT 00:58
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  • Experts to examine wreckage from fatal bus crash
Fire Services spokesman Leung Kwok-chu
Experts have removed the wreckage of the double-decker bus as they seek to find the cause of the accident in which 19 people died, and 65 people were injured on Saturday.

Police say they suspect the driver of the KMB bus may have been speeding when he lost control of his double-decker near Tai Po. It was Hong Kong's worst bus accident in nearly 15 years.

The bus had been travelling downhill at the time of the accident. It toppled over and ended up on its left side, a large part of its roof apparently sheared off.

Eighteen people, 14 men and four women, died at the scene. Another man died later in hospital. Amongst the injured, three were women and 63 were men - including the man who later died.

The 30-year-old driver was arrested for dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm. He has been detained for further enquiries.

The number 872 bus had been on its way to Tai Po from Shatin racecourse when the accident occurred near Tsung Tsai Yuen on Tai Po Road.

The bus wreckage has been removed from the scene for further examination on Sunday morning, and the section of the road where the accident occurred has reopened to traffic.

Footage showed dazed and injured passengers sitting and lying on the kerb.

The Fire Services Department said it took firefighters 85 minutes to rescue all of the passengers trapped inside the bus.

A department spokesman, Leung Kwok-chu, said when rescuers arrived, they found many passengers piled up on top of each other.

"During the rescue operation, we encountered quite a number of difficulties, including the narrow space, a large number of casualties and also we had to carry out the cutting operations," Leung also told reporters at the scene.

The ambulance services said the injured had suffered head and back injuries, bone fractures and bleeding.

Li Chi-wai, senior superintendent of the police’s New Territories North traffic unit, said apart from the speed of the bus, officers will look into the mental state of the driver and the mechanical parts of the bus.

There were reports that the driver had been in an argument with passengers before the journey, though Li only said they would ask witnesses for more information later.

The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, has said she will set up an independent commission of inquiry to look into whether there is a systemic problem with Hong Kong's bus operations, following the accident.
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Last updated: 2018-02-11 HKT 10:43