Hong Kong bus company pays one-off HK$30,000 each to 15 victims of deadly crash
Cash handout for injured who spent at least one day in hospital
A one-off compassionate payment of HK$30,000 has been granted by Hong Kong bus operator Citybus to 15 victims who survived a deadly crash in the city last month.
Injured bus passengers admitted to hospital for at least one day following the accident were eligible for the cash handout, and the token of solidarity had no strings attached, Sham Shui Po district councillor Vincent Cheng Wing-shun revealed on Wednesday.
The move came nearly two weeks after a Citybus double-decker, serving the E21A route, ploughed into a building at a busy junction in Sham Shui Po, leaving three dead and 30 injured on September 22.
Talks are still under way over insurance and compensation matters.
Cheng, who has been helping about a dozen victims, said he received news on Wednesday that Citybus had agreed to allocate the sum of HK$30,000 to each of the 15 passengers who had spent at least one day in hospital.
He welcomed the news, saying it was “better late than never”.
“Of course it is not the end of the [claims] process, but at least the money will provide temporary relief to the victims,” he added.
“Many of them still lie in bed and will be cut off from all sources of income for a considerable period of time.”
The district councillor was told that the payment would not represent formal compensation and that acceptance of the money would not affect future claims.
A Citybus spokeswoman confirmed the payment, but declined further comment.
Cheng also revealed family members of the three who died in the crash had accepted a death gratuity, but he refused to disclose the amount.
Meeting the press outside Caritas Medical Centre in Cheung Sha Wan, where many of the passengers were being treated for their injuries, the district councillor described many as being in an “unsatisfactory” condition.
“I have talked to some of them, and from what I see they face a long road of recovery.”
One of the hospitalised, a truck driver surnamed Wong, sustained injuries to his arm, chest, lungs and chin.
Speaking after a surgery, Wong, in his 50s, said he would be out of work for at least one month, depending on the speed of his recovery.
No public apology over fatal Hong Kong bus crash, Citybus says, but operator willing to meet families
The incident prompted a discussion of whether bus drivers’ working hours endangered the safety of passengers and other road users.
A Citybus representative revealed during a District Council meeting on September 28 that around one in five drivers worked 12 hours a day, and promised to look into ways to reduce the number of hours.