Gunman surrenders after hostage drama

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 July, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 July, 1999, 12:00am

A gunman surrendered to police last night after taking 14 people hostage at an engineering company and firing a shot through a door, injuring two men.


He was being questioned after police found a 7.62mm semi-automatic pistol with six rounds of ammunition in a bush at Fanling railway station.


The man, armed with a pistol, a chopper and plastic handcuffs, had entered the second-floor office of Samba Engineering Limited in the King Yip Factory Building, Kwun Tong, at about 8.30am, threatened staff and tied them up.


'As more staff arrived at work, they were confronted by the gunman who used plastic handcuffs on them. Then he pushed them into a conference room,' said Kowloon East Senior Superintendent Choy Kin-cheung.


The owner of the company and 13 workers were held prisoner by the gunman. The first workers were bound hand and foot, but the gunman later tied people's hands after he ran low on handcuffs.


'Somehow the victims were able to free themselves,' Mr Choy said. 'They used furniture to block the conference room's door and called police on a mobile phone.


'But the culprit was aware a report was made to police and he fired one shot through the door,' he said.


The bullet hit no one, but employees Wong Cheung-ping, 30, and Chan Hon-kin, 34, sustained head injuries.


Mr Chan, an engineer, was hit by flying wood splinters from the door, while Mr Wong, an assistant project manager, hit his head on a chair as he dived for cover.


They were in stable condition in United Christian Hospital.


Police sealed off the exits to the building in King Yip Street, broke into the company's office and found the victims at about 10am. But the gunman had disappeared.


Officers combed the 13-storey building and nearby industrial blocks looking for the man.


Mr Choy said he believed the incident was connected with outstanding contract fees.