Witnesses tell of chaos at hospital

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 January, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 January, 1993, 12:00am

THE 15 minutes after the first victims arrived at Queen Mary Hospital were chaotic, with the dead and injured left lying on the floor unattended.

Eyewitnesses said that when the first batch of about 20 people arrived between 12.45 am and 1 am there were not enough medical personnel immediately available to deal with the emergency.

''People were rushed to Queen Mary all right, but treatment was not rushed to them right away,'' said one witness at the hospital.

''The staff at that point did not seem to fully understand that they had a very urgent situation on their hands.'' Witnesses said that not only were the injured left lying on the floor but a couple of dead bodies were also in the corridor.

''It was a grim and chilling sight to see the dead lying on one side and the injured, who were groaning in pain, on the other. Some people who saw that just broke down in shock. It was just unbelievable,'' said one witness.

A truckload of about 20 Police Tactical Unit officers arrived 15 minutes later and quickly set up an emergency reception and information counter to deal with victims and their families. Medical staff were also available at this point to care for the injured.

For the next few hours, Queen Mary was an unbearable sight, with a steady stream of injured and their relatives and friends pouring in to make inquiries.

At one point the lobby was packed with more than 100 people.

Some people, who had apparently heard of the disaster while out celebrating, turned up in formal dinner wear to make sure their children or loved ones were not caught in the accident.

Some breathed a sigh of relief on finding that no one they knew was on the list. However, some broke down in tears or became hysterical when told their relatives had been killed.

Some had to be led away by police officers and a few elderly women collapsed in shock and grief.

CASUALTY LIST Twenty-seven people were treated at Queen Mary Hospital - 14 have since been released. Twenty were confirmed dead upon arrival.

The dead: Koji Niizeki (male, 27) Huen Sze-fung (m, 26) Fullerton, Jody (m, 18) Wan Hung-yan (m, 25) Lo Hon-chiu (m, 21) Fong Kwok-keung (m, 19) Frith, Michael (m, 15) Yiu Chor-shing (m, 30) Yu Yuet-on (m, 18) Li Yue-ming (m, 26) So Chun-fan (m, 17) Lam Chi-wah (m, 18) Kwok Yuk-king (female, 15) Chan Hiu-ki (f, 20) Kwan Po-shan (f, 17) Yeung Yin-ling (f, 17) Leung Ching-yee (f, 18) Chow Pui-yee (f, 20) Fok Shu-yin (f, 19) and an unknown male The injured: Lai Wai-shun (m, 17, asphyxia) Chan Ho-kin (m, 13, asphyxia) Tam Yee-hung (m, 34, asphyxia) Lam Lai-yin (m, 17, ankle injury) Lo Tse-kin (m, 18, chest contusion) Lau Hin-kwok (m, 21, femur) Chan Hok-ning (m, 29, ankle) To Chi-Kin (m, 15, knee and ankle) Tsui Chak-keung (m, 17, injury unknown) Chiu Chi-wai (m, 20, lower limb) Dean Lancaster (m, 31, head) Jain Rakesh Rajendio (m, 15, tibia and ankle) Li Shui-chung (m, 35, tibia) Lo Man-kwok (m, 22, leg and knee) Wu Yin-ting (f, age unknown, back) Wong Shun-lai (f, 26, multiple abrasions) Cheuk Min-min (f, 17, leg) Koo Man-wai (f, 19, dizziness) Wong Oi-chu (f, 17, ankles) Wo Wai-lan (f, 28, femur) Yip Pui-shan (f, 19, injury unknown) Leung Yan-ling (f, 18, asphyxia) Kwok Yuen-yee (f, 15, femurand tibia) Wong Mei-yuk (f, 27, brain contusion) Yuen Ching-yee (f, 20, head) Leung Yuk-ngan (f, 20, legs) Leung Siu-keung (f, 26, leg).

A total of 36 were treated at Tang Shiu Kin Hospital. Three of them are still being treated: Cheung Wing-yin (m, 22, lower limb injuries) Poon Pui-shan (f, 16, lower limb) and a 20-year-old woman identified as Ms Liu (shoulder injuries).

One male was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.