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Friday, Jun 09, 2023

New Year’s Day bus crash in Hong Kong injures 12; driver arrested

New Year’s Day bus crash in Hong Kong injures 12; driver arrested

Bus ends up on its side in Tseung Kwan O after crashing through roadside barrier.

A New Year’s Day bus crash in Hong Kong has left 12 people injured and an investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the accident.

Police said five males and seven females, all aged between 39 and 76, suffered minor injuries and were taken to Tseung Kwan O Hospital. About 30 passengers were rescued from the bus and that the 55-year-old driver had been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and was being held for questioning.

The Fire Services Department said the 12 injured included two mainly suffering from neck pain and the rest had scratches to their arms, legs and face.

One woman was trapped by seats on the upper deck of the bus, but she was not seriously injured and was later freed by firefighters.

The Sunday accident, which involved bus route 796P operated by New World First Bus between Tsim Sha Tsui East and Lohas Park Station, happened on Lohas Park Road in Tseung Kwan O at 5.17pm.

Passengers receive medical attention at the scene.

Photographs and videos posted online showed the bus had crashed through roadside railings and fallen over onto its side in bushes.

Some of the injured were seen having bandages applied to their heads, arms and fingers.

Others were seated on the pavement awaiting treatment.

One witness, a 39-year-old art administrator surnamed Cheung, said she heard a loud bang but she was not aware of what had happened, but heard ambulance sirens soon after.

When she looked out of her flat window, she saw the bus on its side.

“I was quite shocked. The road is not typically busy with vehicles and it’s also a straight road. So it was strange how the bus toppled like this,” said Cheung, who lives on the 31st floor of a private condominium.

She said most passengers were rescued from the bus after 10 minutes and sought treatment from paramedics at the scene.

They all appeared to be in stable condition, she added.

The Transport Department said part of Lohas Park Road was temporarily closed off after the accident.

A spokeswoman for Bravo Transport Services, which runs New World First Bus, said the driver lost control of the vehicle.

The company apologised to the injured and the spokeswoman said staff had been sent to the hospital to check on the casualties.

She added that the bus driver had not been working overtime, as he was off the day before and was on his fourth trip when the accident happened.

The company had no information on the cause of the accident, but would cooperate with the police investigation, including checking and supplying information from the bus’s black box to officers, she said.

Sai Kung district councillor Chris Cheung Mei-hung, who was at the scene, said all of the passengers were out of the bus when the Post inquired at 6.30pm.

“The firefighters are lifting the bus and we are backing away from the scene. The site of the accident is relatively narrow and sometimes there will be many bicycles passing by,” Cheung said.

Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung said the location was not an accident black spot.

He highlighted that the Transport Department had told the bus company to cooperate with the police investigation to find the cause of the crash and prevent similar accidents.

In February 2018, 19 people died and more than 60 were injured when a double-decker bus toppled onto its side as the driver negotiated a turn near Tai Po Tsuen, making it one of the city’s deadliest bus accidents.

In November 2021, a bus driver was arrested over a separate accident, which resulted in the death of one passenger and 11 more injured when his vehicle overturned in Tai Wai.

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