Cathay Pacific shuttle, Long Win Bus double-decker crash at Chek Lap Kok

One critical, one serious after double-decker rams into back of shuttle vehicle carrying Cathay crew, forcing cancellation of two flights

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 December, 2012, 8:52am

A bus driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm yesterday after his double-decker slammed into a stationary shuttle bus near Chek Lap Kok airport, injuring 23 people.

One of the injured, aged 52, was in critical condition and a 58-year-old was listed as serious in hospital with head and neck injuries. A woman patient was reported as stable, while the others were discharged after treatment.

The crash led Cathay Pacific to cancel two flights between Hong Kong and Taiwan as 16 cabin crew were among the injured. The airline said nearly 500 passengers were affected in both destinations and had been transferred to other flights.

The accident happened at about 8am, when a single-decker Hong Kong Airport Services (HAS) shuttle bus was taking two pilots and 17 flight attendants from Cathay Pacific's head office to the airport for a flight to Taipei. As it stopped at a red light on Catering Road East, a Long Win Bus vehicle on route S64 rammed into the back of it, police said.

The two men in critical condition were crossing the road at the time of the collision.

"The double-decker pushed forward the HAS bus, which then knocked down the two pedestrians," said Senior Inspector Chan Hung-hiu of the New Territories South traffic unit.

The shuttle bus was propelled forward about 25 metres, Chan said. The injured also included the two drivers and 19 passengers from both buses.

The airline said "none of the injuries [to its cabin crew] were life-threatening". The two pilots and one crew member did not need to be admitted.

According to police, the crash site had a speed limit of 50km/h and was not a traffic black spot. Chan said police were looking into whether the accident involved human error or a mechanical problem.

The bus was towed to a government compound for examination. Its driver, 53, was released on HK$5,000 bail and must report to police on Monday.

Long Win Bus, which plies between Tung Chung, the airport and the New Territories, is a subsidiary of Kowloon Motor Bus.

Separately, the driver of a delivery van was arrested for dangerous driving causing death after his vehicle hit and killed an 87-year-old man on Ma Hang Chung Road, Hung Hom, at 8.45am. The driver, 49, was granted police bail and must report back to police next month.