Victims’ family blasts lack of info as condolences pour in
Police have refused to release any information about victims of the ferry collision off Lamma Island, said a relative of one of the deceased, as condolences poured in from US and British officials.
Ryan Tsui, whose brother died in the boat accident that killed 38 people, said on Wednesday that without any information, his family was forced to rush around four hospitals. They were finally able to confirm the death of his brother.
“I understand that the whole investigation process may take up at least a year. But why can’t they give us some basic information?” he said. He also called police registration procedures at Kwai Chung Public Mortuary messy.
Tsui’s niece and her mother and younger brother had also been on the boat the pleasure boat Lamma IV. They were celebrating the girl’s 10th birthday on Monday night as they sailed out to watch the National Day fireworks.
The mother and brother had only minor injuries. The girl is in critical condition.
Tsui said his family was not notified when Food and Health Bureau chief Dr Ko Wing-man visited her at Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan.
“If they don’t approach us, how can they understand our needs?” he said.
He suggested the government look for overseas experts to take care of his niece. “No one can afford losing one more family member,” he said.
On Wednesday, a British national was confirmed to be among casualties.
British Prime Minister David Cameron sent his condolences to the boat tragedy victims as the consulate confirmed the death of the Briton, without releasing any further details.
“We can confirm the death of a British national in the Hong Kong ferry accident,” a British consulate spokeswoman said. “Our staff in Hong Kong have been in contact with the family to offer assistance.”
US Consul General Stephen Young also released a statement expressing his “deepest condolences” for the loss of life.
The death toll of 38 could rise as several of the injured people are in critical condition in hospital.
It was the deadliest maritime accident in Hong Kong since 1971.