Condition of HK student injured in car park fall deteriorates, but doctors yet to confirm brain death

09-Nov-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The condition of a Hong Kong university student who was left on life support after falling four metres (13 feet) in a car park on Monday has deteriorated, but doctors have yet to conduct a test to confirm whether brain death has taken place, medical sources have said.

Police on Thursday said they would seek security footage from nearby buildings after a review of more than 30 cameras at the car park failed to establish the cause of Chow Tsz-lok’s fall.

Chow, a 22-year-old student of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), remained in a critical condition at Queen Elisabeth Hospital on Thursday. He was reported to have fallen from the third floor to the second floor of a car park in Tseung Kwan O during the small hours on Monday.

A medical source said the pressure inside his skull had built up to five times the normal level, a life-threatening condition.

“It could mean the brain would be cut off from blood supply because the pressure prevents blood from going in,” the source said.

Another source confirmed that a brain death test was not conducted on Thursday.

In a graduation ceremony on Thursday, HKUST president Professor Wei Shyy made an emotional remark when addressing the new batch of graduates.

“One of ours is in hospital. Let’s join his parents and all family members in supporting him,” he said. “This is a very, very important message I hope we all can send to his family, that we are together with them. We look forward to seeing him again.”

The Post was told that police had reviewed all the clips from the 30 cameras at the car park provided by Link Reit, which owns the Sheung Tak Estate car park where the student fell.

A source said the student was seen entering the car park alone at 12.20am and walking around before he was last seen on the third floor.

Link Reit has released 10 clips from six of the cameras to the media. One of them showed a man in black walking up the same slope from the second floor to the third floor at around 1.02am.

A few seconds later, the CCTV camera on the second floor showed a flash above the spot where Chow was found.

Police had earlier said Chow was believed to have fallen between 12.45am and 1am.

A police source said the group of officers involved in an operation against protesters, who had thrown bricks at police nearby, entered the car park at 1.04am, while the first round of tear gas was fired between 12.41am and 12.57am.

He said while there was another group of officers who entered the car park at around 11.10pm on Sunday to deal with protesters who allegedly harassed the guests of a police wedding at a nearby hotel, they left about 10 minutes later.

He said that after reviewing all the clips, investigators had excluded three causes of Chow’s fall, including the possibility that he might have been chased or pushed by officers, as the force entered the car park after the estimated time of his fall.

It was also confirmed that while police had fired several beanbag rounds or about 10 rubber bullets that night at the car park, the firing point was more than 120 metres (394m) away from where the student fell, and the distance was too long for the shots to have reached him.

The source said they also excluded the possibility that the student fell while fleeing from police’s tear gas, as the clips did not show the area filled with smoke, nor did the people in the footage appear to be suffering from the effects of the gas.

He said the force would seek security footage from the neighbouring buildings for more clues.

In a police briefing on Tuesday night, Kowloon East Superintendent Wu Ka-yan said Chow might have thought that there was a ledge just below the third-floor wall that he had climbed over, but fell four metres onto the second floor.

On Thursday, people from all walks of life continued to show their support for Chow outside the hospital’s intensive care unit, where he has been undergoing treatment.

Flower bouquets, paper cranes and Post-it messages from people, including those who did not know Chow personally, were placed in the lobby outside the unit.

Anthony, who used to play netball with Chow in the HKUST team, described him as a young man full of team spirit.

“He was nice to friends, and was willing to help others,” he said.

Many strangers also offered prayers for Chow, including Cheung Ka-yee, a waitress who brought a flower bouquet for him.

“I hope he can wake up soon and be back to the sides of his family and friends,” she said.


Category: Hong Kong

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