Final prayers for dead workers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 April, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 April, 1993, 12:00am

TWISTED metal was a mute testament to the deaths of crane operator Mr Tong Cham-sum and electrician Mr Cheung Yeung-yee yesterday.

They were crushed to death in the control room of the 60-metre tower crane, which collapsed at the site of the Tsing Ma Bridge.

The horizontal boom had disappeared into the water while the vertical support tower lay in a crumpled heap.

The distraught family of Mr Tong, including a child, was at the scene shortly after 3 pm to pay their respects.

As they burned incense and spread paper money through the air, a woman identified by site workers as Mrs Tong wept bitterly.

Colleagues of her dead husband helped spread burning incense sticks around the fallen crane.

Company officials from Gammon whisked the family members away after they had completed their rituals for sending off the dead.

Press and media personnel were kept at a distance to provide privacy for the family. Company officials refused to comment and also declined to make further statements to labour groups.

Members of the Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims were not informed of the whereabouts of the families.

Meanwhile, Labour Department investigators and factory inspectors from the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department interviewed workers.

As of late yesterday afternoon, no eyewitnesses had come forward, the investigators said.

While investigations continued through much of the afternoon, the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, flew in by helicopter with officials from the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office for a briefing with site supervisors.