Dozens of people gathered at Kwai Chung Public Mortuary by 10am on Tuesday morning, looking for relatives who went missing in the Lamma ferry disaster.
The mood was sombre and subdued as the relatives gathered in the building’s hall, some talking to mortuary officials.
Others wept openly while some speculated aloud about the ferry collision on Monday evening.
One man at the mortuary, who gave his surname as Leung, said he was looking for his father-in-law, who had boarded the ferry to watch the fireworks with his daughter and a granddaughter. His father-in-law was not a strong swimmer, Leung added.
A woman who identified herself as Mrs Shum said she and her family were searching for a cousin of her husband’s, and a niece of the cousin, who was seven or eight years old.
“No one thought it would turn out like this,” Shum said. But she was relieved that two other relatives had survived the disaster and been discharged from hospital.
One man, who identified himself as Mr Li, arrived at the mortuary searching for his older sister after looking for her in vain elsewhere.
“I went to piers and three hospitals to look for her but there was nothing,” he said. “So I came to the mortuary to see whether there might be information here.”
His sister, a social worker with grown children, boarded the ferry on Monday night with three friends who were employees of Hongkong Electric.
The Lamma IV ferry was taking employees of Hongkong Electric, and their family members, to watch a National Day fireworks display on Monday evening, when the disaster happened shortly after 8.20pm.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, specialists on the police disaster victim identification team were seen offloading items from the wreck at the Marine Police Aberdeen Base.