Stroke of luck saves rubbish worker

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 May, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 May, 1994, 12:00am

CHAN LAI-MUI loaded and unloaded rubbish in Tan Kwai Village for 20 years - but was away from her post for five vital minutes yesterday.

The commotion and shouting brought her hurrying back to find that a runaway goods van had crashed over the spot where she always stood.

''Firemen were pulling people from under the van. My legs were trembling. I just sat down and cried,'' said Ms Chan, 55, who worked in the village rubbish depot with her 25-year-old son.

Marble worker Lau Yin-che, 36, was driving to work when he saw policemen chasing the van down the street.

''Three or four plain-clothes officers suddenly rushed out from the village lanes trying to intercept the van,'' he said.

''One already had his revolver out and was shouting at the driver to stop.'' The van's driver, Chan Chi-keung 32, jumped out and ran away unhurt, he said.

The suspect took the wheel but hit a grey car before ploughing into pedestrians standing near the rubbish depot.

''The van hit two of the policemen but one fired a shot, which hit the man at the wheel,'' Mr Lau said.

''But that policeman was tossed into the air and landed on the roadside.'' Two men were trapped under the rear wheels and an old man standing among the rubbish was injured slightly.

''Firemen had to jack up the van before rescuing the two trapped men,'' Mr Lau said.