HK cancels Lunar New Year fireworks after bus crash which killed 19

13-Feb-2018 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong’s Lunar New Year fireworks have been cancelled in light of the weekend’s deadly bus crash, the city’s leader announced on Monday, as the driver was charged with dangerous driving.

The display had been scheduled for Saturday, the second day of the new year.

Also on Monday, police formally charged the 30-year-old KMB bus driver with dangerous driving. He is expected to appear at Fanling Court on Tuesday.

The government will fly the city’s flag at half-mast at its headquarters in Admiralty on Tuesday, and officials will not attend any major celebrations in the “next one or two weeks”, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said.

Nineteen people were killed on Saturday when a KMB bus travelling from Sha Tin racecourse towards Tai Po suddenly swerved out of control and flipped on its side while making a turn near Tai Po Mei.

Bus company shares blame for fatal crash, KMB staff union representative says

“I have heard suggestions from lawmakers across the political spectrum to consider cancelling this year’s Lunar New Year fireworks as an expression of citywide mourning. I feel this suggestion has widespread public support,” Lam said.

I feel this suggestion has widespread public support

Chief Executive Carrie Lam

“I announce here that the government has come to the decision to cancel this year’s Lunar New Year fireworks on the second day of the new year on February 17.”

Lam said the event sponsor, Chevalier International Holdings, had been informed, and any money saved as a result of the cancellation would go to the families of crash victims.

The display had been scheduled to run from 8pm on Saturday and last for 23 minutes.

Organisers planned to launch 29,000 pyrotechnic shells from barges in Victoria Harbour, featuring a series of Lunar New Year-themed designs, such as golden ingots, peach blossoms and a dog. The next lunar year is the Year of the Dog.

Speaking to reporters on Monday evening, Lam said a judge-led independent commission of inquiry to investigate the accident had received backing from Chief Justice Geoffery Ma Tao-li.

“The first task is to select a judge but… this will still take some time. Some serving judges may be handling a lot of work and retired judges will need to be contacted,” Lam said.

On Sunday, HK$21 million (US$2.7 million) was raised from half a dozen charities to help those affected by the tragedy. Lam announced on Monday that the figure had grown to HK$42.5 million, topped up with funds from other charities, including KMB’s own charity foundation.


Category: Hong Kong

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