Mentally ill man found unconscious in bus

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 September, 2010, 12:00am

The Social Welfare Department will seek reports from two organisations after a moderately mentally retarded man was found unconscious in a 24-seater bus that had been parked in the sun for about six hours with the windows closed.

The man, 46, identified only as Hui, was in critical condition last night in Pok Oi Hospital, Yuen Long.

He was in a group of mentally retarded people who were being taken by bus from the New Life Jubilee Hostel, on the Shan King Estate, Tuen Mun, to the Pentecostal Church of Hong Kong Sheltered Workshop, in the same district, at about 8am yesterday.

Police said that the driver had then driven to Wang Lee Street, in Yuen Long, and had left the vehicle there.

When he returned to pick up the bus at about 3.15pm, he found Hui unconscious in one of the seats and excrement nearby. Hui regained consciousness briefly after arriving at the hospital but his condition later worsened.

The driver, who is 53 years old, was also taken to hospital after he too complained that he was feeling unwell.

Temperatures in the Yuen Long area rose above 31 degrees Celsius at times yesterday.

A senior manager of the workshop said other workers had reported that Hui had been suffering from emotional problems.

The New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, a non-profit-making NGO which operates the hostel, said that the bus operator was contracted to take its workers to different workshops.

It said it did not conduct roll calls during such operations but would now review its practices.

The department said that it would seek reports from the two organisations.