Plunge baby's 'far, far away' fate

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 April, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 April, 1998, 12:00am

The ashes of 13-month-old Chan Kwan-yu, who fell off her bunk bed and out of a sixth-floor window, were scattered in the South China Sea yesterday.

The scattering followed a silent farewell from her parents in the morgue at Queen Mary Hospital, where the child died last Saturday.

Kwan-yu was bouncing on her bunk bed while playing with her two brothers when she slipped and fell out of a window at the family's Wan Chai home on March 29. Their father, Chan Chi-keung, was washing the boys' school uniforms on the rooftop when tragedy struck.

Offerings of cake, biscuits, sweets and a carton of milk were placed on an altar at the entrance to the morgue.

A brief Buddhist ceremony was held before Kwan-yu's body was cremated, along with a toy puppy and car.

'Her ashes will be scattered into the sea so that she can go far, far away,' Mr Chan said.

The 39-year-old consoled his sobbing mainland wife, Cheung Siu-chun, who was granted a three-month two-way permit to be at her daughter's bedside the day after the accident.

Kwan-yu's brothers, aged eight and nine, have been plagued by nightmares and did not attend the funeral.

Mr Chan's wife, 34, sneaked into Hong Kong to give birth to Kwan-yu in December 1996. She was repatriated soon after, but the girl came to live with her father and brothers in the SAR late last year so that she could be included in their application for a public flat.

The boys had been granted one-way permits in 1995, but their mother's request was turned down.

The family will now ask the Immigration Department to allow Mrs Chan to stay and take care of the two sons, so that her husband can find work.

Mr Chan left his job as a scaffolder to take care of the boys.

The three live on public assistance of $11,000 a month.