Report on Central street cave-in to be released next week

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 May, 2007, 12:00am

The Buildings Department has promised to release next Thursday the report of an investigation into last month's street cave-in in Central.

The collapse, in the famed hawkers' lane of Li Yuen Street East, sent five stalls and four owners plunging into a four-metre-deep hole during a downpour on April 24.

Yesterday, Central and Western District councillors and representatives from the Buildings, Highways, Home Affairs and Water Supplies departments met 20 hawkers to discuss progress.

Councillor Kam Nai-wai said the area was safe for the vendors to return. But government departments have not made any promises of compensation.

Mr Kam said the cause of the accident and who should be liable for vendors' losses would not be known until the Buildings Department finished its investigation with vendors and contractors involved in the case.

Seven hawkers got HK$8,000 in emergency assistance from the Central and Western District Office. An injured hawker said this would not be enough to cover their needs and he would seek compensation from those responsible for the accident.

Lee Ming-yiu said: 'My right chest and left leg got hurt during the accident. All my goods were inside my stall and I lost everything.'

He said it would take about HK$20,000 and two weeks to make a new stall.

Councillors and representatives from various departments went to Li Yuen Street East for a site visit after the meeting at the district office. A shop owner in the street complained to the officers that a crack on the shop's wall had become wider in the past two weeks, but an officer of the Works Division of the Highways Department assured her the shop was safe.

The officer, Tsui Wai-cheung, said the department had sent workers to dig 12 holes on the street to ensure the ground base was safe.

'There will be no more cave-ins here,' he said.