Rogue umbrella 'not from kiosk'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 June, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 June, 1999, 12:00am

THE owner of a kiosk that hires out umbrellas on the beach where a man was stabbed by a blown-away brolly on Friday said yesterday his equipment was not involved in the accident.


Bus driver Kwok Ting-hon, 57, remained unconscious in intensive care at Queen Mary Hospital last night after a piece of the umbrella's frame, which was lifted up by a gust of wind, pierced his right lung and blew away.


The owner of a refreshment kiosk on Second Beach, Clear Water Bay, said yesterday it was not his responsibility and that the umbrella was not his.


'You have to prove it with evidence if you want to convict me of anything,' said the man, 67, who gave his name as Mr Tam.


'But I can assure you with 100 per cent confidence that my umbrellas had nothing to do with the man.' Mr Tam said that all of his rented umbrellas were collected at the end of business on Friday.


He said the owner of the umbrella must have taken it away with him after the incident.


Mr Tam said 20 per cent of the umbrellas on the beach were hired from his store and the rest were brought on to the beach by individuals.


He said his company had taken out a $50 million public liability policy from Wing Lung Bank when the store opened in April.


'I would sign any document and help claim insurance for him [Mr Kwok] if it was my umbrella involved in the stabbing,' he said.


Police yesterday said they were no longer investigating the incident.


'Our information indicated it was a blow of wind forcing the end of umbrella into his lung,' a spokeswoman said.


'There is no criminal element in the case and we will take no further action.' Last night, Mr Kwok was in intensive care after earlier being transferred from Grantham Hospital and United Christian Hospital.


One of Mr Kwok's twin sons said the family had not yet considered the question of compensation as Mr Kwok was still in a critical condition.


Yesterday, a team of three officials from the Regional Services was sent to help console the family.


One of the officers said the case remained under investigation.