A team of Hong Kong police investigating the Manila hostage tragedy returned to the Philippine capital yesterday in time for the expected release today of the report of the official inquiry into the incident. It was their second trip to the city since eight Hong Kong tourists died and seven were injured when a disgruntled ex-policeman who had hijacked their tour bus let loose a hail of bullets before being gunned down himself. They plan to collect further evidence, including a copy of the report of the inquiry by the Philippine Justice Department that began on September 3, 11 days after the tragedy. Headed by Philippine Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, the inquiry heard evidence from witnesses including the bus driver, police involved in the botched rescue, Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno and national police chief Jesus Verzosa. Meanwhile, members of the Hong Kong government rapid deployment team sent to Manila during the crisis have told how teamwork and team spirit helped get the casualties and bodies of the dead back to Hong Kong within 48 hours. In the aftermath, immigration officers scrambled overnight to visit different hospitals to identify victims and survivors, social workers accompanied bereaved family members to identify bodies and a senior doctor even read Christian psalms to calm a stressed survivor who could not sleep. 'The assistance work was done in a very efficient and orderly way,' team leader and Undersecretary for Security Lai Tung-Kwok said. Lai noted that the first officers arrived in Manila two hours before the shooting. 'We had a very quick response and the first batch of officers arrived in Manila before 5pm.' One of the first arrivals, senior immigration officer Michael Hong Hoi, recalled the tense atmosphere in the police temporary command centre after the first shots were heard at about 6.45pm. 'There was no television news broadcast in the police command centre and we faced challenges as local police were communicating in the local language, not English,' Hong said. Hong said he went to five hospitals overnight to compile a list of victims and their situations. Dr Tong Hon-kuan, chief of the accident and emergency department at Queen Mary Hospital, who was sent to Manila to provide medical assistance, picked an unusual way to help a patient. 'We tried many ways to help calm down a patient who could not close her eyes to sleep after the incident but failed. 'Surprisingly I found that reading some paragraphs of the Psalms to her helped,' he said. Tong said that as an accident and emergency doctor he knew medicine could help a lot, but was not a solution in all situations. Clinical psychologist Alfred Chan Wai-kwong helped survivors and their family members work through their feelings of regret and guilt after the tragedy. 'Some kept questioning themselves about [what they did in] the hostage drama, while some kept wondering whether it had really happened,' Chan said. He tried to help the survivors stabilise their emotions and provided follow-up treatment in Hong Kong. But, Chan said, 'it is still difficult to tell how long it will take them to recover from such a trauma'. Chief social work officer Maria Lau said many families were also very considerate towards the team. 'Some families even offered comfort to team members,' she said. Amid the continuing media interest in the incident, Lau appealed to the public to give space to the survivors and their families. 'This is the time for them to get back to their normal life,' Lau said.