Brake failure blamed for 13-vehicle pile-up

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 March, 2009, 12:00am

Fifteen people were injured in a 13-vehicle pile-up on Waterloo Road last night after a coach's brakes apparently failed.

The coach was carrying 50 war-game players when it hit three vehicles after passing through the Lion Rock Tunnel at about 6.30pm. The driver swerved into another lane and hit eight more vehicles, a police investigator said. It finally stopped when it ran into a KMB double-decker bus in Junction Road.

The coach left behind a chaotic scene, with vehicles flipped upside down, pushed onto the curb and pointing in the wrong direction.

Firemen climbed over car roofs and searched for victims. The injured were taken to Queen Elizabeth and Kwong Wah hospitals. Medical workers from nearby Baptist Hospital gave first aid to victims. Two people suffered serious injuries.

A KMB bus driver told Cable TV that he had been waiting to turn a corner when he heard a loud bang, then saw the coach smash into nearby vehicles. A woman passenger said she would have been killed if the coach had been moving faster.

The 45-year-old coach driver has been arrested. A police officer said he had complained of brake failure before the crash. An investigation is under way.