Tears and anger as families grieve for victims of bus tragedy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 December, 2011, 12:00am


Relatives of three Hongkongers who were killed when a bus crashed into a crowd of passengers in Shenzhen on Tuesday mourned at the roadside near the Lo Wu immigration control point yesterday.

Lee Wai-man, 45, Tsang Siu-king, 60, and Chan Choi-yuk, 65, were among five people crushed to death near the control point. A four-year-old boy from Chongqing was also among the dead.

Their relatives, some in tears, began arriving at about 10am for the hour-long ceremony. Chan's husband, Ma Yu-yu, who survived the accident, accused Luohu Coach Station management of only being interested in keeping the media away.

Some passengers who were not hurt or only had slight injuries wanted to help the seriously wounded and preserve the accident scene for investigation after the crash, he said. But they were taken into the coach station building. 'They were afraid of us complaining to the media,' Ma said.

Ma also said a transport policeman had refused to lend him a mobile phone so he could call his daughter and son. He had been heartbroken and alone at the scene for half an hour until Shenzhen reporters arrived and lent him a mobile phone to make the call. Tsang's wife said rescue workers had arrived too late. 'My husband was under the wheels for an hour,' she said.

'No one could take him out. I don't even know if he was killed outright in the accident or died as a result of the delayed rescue effort.'

Lee's Hong Kong identity card went missing in the chaos at the crash scene, and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong was arranging to send his body home.

According to Shenzhen's regulations on major public emergencies, rescue teams should be at the scene within 30 minutes. In cases involving Hongkongers or foreigners, a special team would be set up at the same time to report to the Hong Kong government and the central authorities.

The Yunfa Group, which operated the coach, has said it will cover costs related to the deaths, including cremation, embalming services and the families' meals and accommodation during their stay in Shenzhen.

One of the Hong Kong victim's families also accepted an undisclosed compensation deal from the company last night.

The coach was taking passengers from Xiashan, Guangdong, to Lo Wu. It stopped outside the coach station at 1.10pm but lurched forward about 20 metres after all the passengers had got off, running over several people before hitting the kerb and railings.