A two-year-old boy had his right hand cut off in a meat mincer as he played in the butcher's shop where his father was serving customers. The father, Chan Kam, 65, turned off the machine as Chu-sing screamed in agony, but it was too late to save the boy's hand. A woman from the store opposite in Tung Yik Market, Yuen Long, gave Mr Chan a clean cloth to wrap the wound before he took the boy to Pok Oi Hospital by taxi. Firemen helped retrieve the mangled hand and immediately sent it to Tuen Mun Hospital to where the child had been transferred. Chu-sing was conscious when he was admitted to hospital. Doctors spent three hours in surgery but failed to re-attach the hand. Surgeons said a mechanical or electronic hand could be fitted when the wound healed. Mr Chan said Chu-sing spent most of his time in Dongguan with his mother, who is waiting for permission to move to Hong Kong. The boy had been with his father since he started nursery school in Hong Kong two weeks ago. 'It was a public holiday today, so he was in my store,' said the father who rang his wife to tell her of the accident. 'I turned the button off after mincing some pork for a customer and I had turned to serve another customer when I heard my son scream. But it was too late, his hand was already severed when I pulled him out,' said Mr Chan. 'I guess he [pushed] the button on by himself.' Mr Chan remarried after his first wife died about 10 years ago and has three children with his second wife. Chu-sing got residency here when his wife overstayed a two-way permit to give birth to him. Chu-sing lives with his father and some of his stepchildren in a house in Tsung Tsin Village. Operators of neighbouring stores in the market said it was not the first time they had seen Mr Chan take Chu-sing to the butcher's shop. 'It's dangerous to take a kid to the market. Quite apart from the meat-mincing machine, there are always cleavers on the table,' said a vegetable store owner. Social worker Sze Lai-shan of the Society for Community Organisation urged the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities to learn lessons from the repeated tragedies involving split families. 'These children are all innocent. If they could be taken care of by their mothers, these accidents could be avoided,' said Ms Sze who called on the permits to be issued for families as a whole. In March this year, a 13-month-old baby girl plunged six floors to her death in Wan Chai when she was playing on a bunk bed near a window. The father was washing clothes for his children on the roof at the time and the mother was in Guangdong.