Residents are evacuated after container truck plunges through danger spot at flyover A container truck smashed through safety rails and fell six metres off a flyover in Shekkipmei yesterday on a curve where truck drivers say their pleas for safety improvements have fallen on deaf government ears. Dozens of people were evacuated when the truck crashed off a curve in Ching Cheung Road and plunged to a flyover below, sending its container, with 18 tonnes of metal products, crashing onto a slope near an estate. Driver Wong Wang-kau, 47, who was thrown from his cab, was found lying near the truck and was in critical condition in hospital last night. He told rescuers the brakes had failed. The truck dislodged debris and demolished a 25-metre stretch of safety barrier, although no one else was injured. The accident had echoes of the Tuen Mun bus tragedy of July last year in which 21 people died when a bus smashed through safety rails and plunged 31 metres after a collision with a truck. The vice-chairman of the Container Transportation Employees General Union, Tse Long, said that after that tragedy they had asked the government to improve safety on the Tai Po Road flyover because of its sharp curve. 'We were asked to use other roads if drivers felt unsafe on the flyover,' Mr Tse said. The Transport Department said it was investigating the cause of the accident and would look into whether there was a need to strengthen safety rails. A spokeswoman said the site was not among 39 spots identified as high-risk and needing improvement after the Tuen Mun crash. In a statement last night the department said: 'The road section is constructed of anti-skid surfacing and is in good condition ...There are adequate warning signs and markings before the road bend to warn drivers to slow down.' Police said the truck was entering a right-hand bend opposite the So Uk Estate at about 8am when it veered out of control and hit the safety barrier. After it crashed to the lower flyover, the rear of the trailer was left hanging over the side and the fully loaded container, ripped from its fastenings, smashed onto the slope below, posing a threat to residents of Peony House in So Uk Estate which faces the slope. Dozens of residents living between the third and eighth floors of the building were evacuated while firefighters secured the container with cables. The driver was lying conscious beside the truck when emergency crews arrived. 'He told our officers that the brakes were not working at the time of the incident,' acting chief inspector Edmond Wu Ho-lam of Kowloon West traffic unit said. Two crane trucks were used to remove the truck and container and the residents were allowed to return home at about 1.30pm. Last night the two flyovers remained closed as workers from the Highways Department repaired the road surface and safety rails. Shamshuipo district councillors and truck drivers unsuccessfully asked the government last year to upgrade the safety of the flyover. Council chairman Tam Kwok-kiu said the government had replied that the design met international safety standards. Scientific officer Lo Kok-keung of Polytechnic University's department of mechanical engineering, who went to the scene, said the flyover was designed for private cars, not heavy goods vehicles. The sharp curves made it unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles, especially at high speeds, and the barriers were too low and too weak. The speed limit on the flyover is 50km/h. A resident expressed her concerns: 'We live very close to it; cars could fall down and hit us. I can sense the danger just looking at it.' In a previous incident, she said, a wheel had come hurtling down the slope, and the building had once been hit by a tyre. A similar accident, also involving a container truck, happened at the same sector of road on the flyover in 1977 and killed a boy.