Revellers 'kept drinking while people died'

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

AN English carpenter struggled to resuscitate victims while New Year's Eve revellers either continued drinking in bars or stood around looking at him ''as if they were watching television''.

Mr Bruce Wynne, who has been in Hongkong for about six weeks on an Asian holiday, was initially at the edge of the crowds but was slowly pushed to the middle as more people jammed into Lan Kwai Fong. He said he and his girlfriend fell but he managed to get her out with the help of a few people.

They started crawling around the edges trying to get out of the mass. Mr Wynne's girlfriend managed to make her way to a restaurant but he got pushed into the throng again.

''The crowds just kept pouring in; they didn't know what was happening ahead and just kept coming in. People were tripping over the kerb, so there was a domino effect and bodies were fanned out across the road.

''The bodies were lying five to six deep. I got myself out again and tried to get people out from the bottom, but it was impossible,'' he said.

People seemed oblivious for about 10 minutes that people were dying.

''A lot of the people just stood there watching as though they were looking at their television sets,'' he said.

Mr Wynne had learnt mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in a scuba diving course in England. He saw a man fall and gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The man vomited and revived.

He managed to revive about three other people in the next 40 minutes.

''I couldn't feel any emotions because there wasn't enough time. The only thought in my mind was trying to save these people and get other people involved, but people were drinking in the bars while people were dying outside.'' Mr Wynne said he was annoyed at police reports on television yesterday morning.

''They downplayed it but I only saw three police initially. They were not on the scene for 15 minutes then they kept trying to keep people back - even those who were trying to help.

''Some of the police just seemed too stunned to know what was happening. It seems like they need to be taught a first aid course properly.'' Mr Wynne was suffering from a slight knee twist last night and a lack of sleep.

He was up until 5 am thinking about the events as they repeatedly unfolded in his mind.

''I kept asking myself did I do enough to save people,'' he said.