HK cameraman badly hurt in fall

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 January, 2008, 12:00am

A Hong Kong television cameraman remained unconscious last night in a Kaohsiung hospital after suffering a head injury when he fell from an open-topped vehicle while covering Kuomintang presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou campaigning for a candidate in the city.

Doctors who performed two hours of surgery on Li Tung-kit for a brain haemorrhage described the operation as smooth but said the next few days would be crucial for the 45-year-old ATV cameraman.

The accident happened yesterday morning when Mr Li was riding in a jeep following Mr Ma and KMT candidate Huang Chao-shun on the campaign trail.

Reporters who witnessed the accident said Mr Li was standing on a ladder on the side of the car and fell when he tried to climb up.

'When he was trying to get on it, he lost his balance, as he was carrying a rucksack on his shoulder and hand-carrying a camera,' said a reporter in the same car. 'I thought he would stand up again after he fell, because he didn't fall from a high point.

'I only realised he was seriously injured when I saw that he had lost consciousness.'

Chi Shean-chan, the former president of Chimei Medical Centre who is the executive director of Mr Ma's campaign office, carried out first aid on Mr Li at the scene before he was sent to Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Surgeon Howng Shen-long said the surgery was smooth, but the question of whether Mr Li would recover depended on how soon he regained consciousness.

'At the moment, it's still not known whether his language ability and the functions of the brain would be affected by the injury or not.'

The vice-president of ATV's public affairs and information section, Lau Lan-cheong, and two of Mr Li's sisters arrived in Kaohsiung yesterday afternoon. Mr Ma also visited him in hospital.

Mr Ma said that he sensed slight movement from Mr Li's hands - good signs according to the doctors - although the coming two days would be the most critical period.

Mr Lau said ATV would take care of Mr Li's medical expenses and offer necessary help to his family.