'Lasting friends' among HK dead

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 September, 2008, 12:00am

Five Hongkongers who visited the Shenzhen nightclub in which four of them died in Saturday night's fire had been close friends for years, the vice-principal of their secondary school said yesterday.

The five travelled to Shenzhen to celebrate the 18th birthday of Choi Wai-tat, who was killed along with his friends Liu Pun-yuen, 18, Lo Ka-leung and Leung Chun-yin, both 19.

A fifth friend, Cheng Sze-lap, 18, was the group's sole survivor.

Chan Chok-ming, vice-principal of Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Kwai Chung), said the five completed the Form Five curriculum last year.

Mr Chan said the four who died were from different classes but had been close friends for years.

Reports said Lo came from the mainland with his mother, a cleaner, in 1993, and the family lived in Shek Yam Estate, Kwai Chung. His father worked at Kowloon Hospital.

A Vocational Training Council spokeswoman said Lo had been a student at the Institute of Vocational Education (Morrison Hill) and started a three-year higher diploma in building studies two weeks ago.

Leung, meanwhile, had apparently finished a vocational training course.