Charred body found in burned village hut, leading Hong Kong authorities to investigate foul play

Six people safely evacuated from fire in New Territories

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2016, 3:10pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2016, 8:05pm

The charred body of a man was found in a burned hut in Sheung Shui on Wednesday, prompting police and fire authorities to investigate whether foul play was involved.

Emergency personnel were called when the blaze broke out in the tin hut in a village off Hang Tau Road shortly before 11am Wednesday.

A government spokesman said six people were safely evacuated from the village and that none had sustained injury or complained of feeling unwell.

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“A charred body was found inside the hut,” he said.

A police spokeswoman said initial investigations showed the remains were of a man who was thought to be aged between 50 and 60.

The man was believed to be the tenant of the hut.

She said crime-squad officers were still investigating whether there were suspicious circumstances in the blaze.

Sheung Shui fire station commander Pang Kin-on said two tin huts were affected and the body was found in the bathroom of one of the huts. He said they were still trying to establish the identity of the body on Wednesday.

One of the huts was 15m by 10m while the other was 10m by 8m and they were attached each other.

Ten fire engines and two ambulances were dispatched to the scene after the Fire Services Department received the fire report at 10.58am. About 50 firemen were deployed.

“When firemen arrived, there were fierce flames. Inside the huts, miscellaneous items were well alight,” Pang said.

He said firemen used three water jets and mobilised three teams of firemen equipped with breathing apparatus to fight the blaze. It was largely put out at 12.14pm.

Firemen found three cylinders of liquefied petroleum gas outside the huts and handed the three cylinders to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department to follow up.

Pang said the fire department would set up a special investigative unit to investigate the blaze.

When asked whether the blaze was caused by its tenant who set alight rubbish emitting smoke to repel mosquito, Pang said it was one of the possibilities they would look into.