image

Japan

Hong Kong actor Eric Tsang Chi-wai and top police officer in head-on car crash on Japan’s Hokkaido island Christmas Day

  • Director of Crime and Security Li Chi-hang is transferred to another hospital by helicopter to undergo surgery after collision in snow-covered region
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 December, 2018, 2:17pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 December, 2018, 3:31pm

Hong Kong actor Eric Tsang Chi-wai was involved in a head-on crash in Japan on Christmas Day with a car carrying a top Hong Kong policeman, sources have said.

Director of Crime and Security Li Chi-hang and his family were in a seven-seater when it collided with another car driven by Tsang, 65, and a woman in her 40s on the northern island of Hokkaido.

Li was sent to hospital before being transferred to another facility by helicopter for surgery on Wednesday. He was said to be conscious but numb in the lower half of his body.

His wife also sustained non-life-threatening injuries and required immediate surgery.

Comedian Tsang was conscious after the incident and had not sought help from Hong Kong authorities as of Tuesday night.

The manager of Tsang’s daughter, singer and actress Bowie Tsang, 45, told the Post that she had been in touch with her father since the accident.

“Her dad has called to tell her he is safe, and would like to thank everyone for their concern,” said the manager, who only gave his surname, Liu. “He’s been to the hospital for a check-up and is doing fine.”

Officer Li’s family were on a holiday road trip when the accident took place in Otaru, a port city to the northwest of the island’s capital, Sapporo.

Hokkaido quake reveals how unprepared Japan is to help foreigners during disasters

Li was a passenger at the time, a source said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has warned of gales and snow in the northwestern part of the island.

Otaru recorded 23cm of snow on Tuesday, with temperatures ranging from minus 3.5 degrees Celsius to a maximum of just 0.2 of a degree above freezing, according to official statistics.

Li joined the police force in 1988. He previously served as assistant commissioner and was promoted to his current post earlier this year.

A spokesman for Hong Kong’s Immigration Department said staff from the Chinese consulate in Sapporo had visited the injured at a hospital on Tuesday night. Three department staff members were sent from Hong Kong on Tuesday and Wednesday to provide assistance and would “actively follow up on the incident”.

Several Hong Kong tourists have died navigating the mountainous roads of Hokkaido, one of Japan’s most popular holiday destinations.

In 2016 a three-year-old boy was killed when a rental car driven by his father slammed into a lamp post on a highway in Iwamizawa, about an hour’s drive from Sapporo.

In December 2010 a 51-year-old man and a nine-year-old girl died when their rented vehicle crashed head-on into a truck on a snow-covered road between Sapporo and a ski resort in the town of Niseko.

There have been 9,680 traffic accidents in Hokkaido this year, injuring 11,191 people and causing 139 fatalities, according to data from the Hokkaido Prefectural Police. There were 858 fewer road accidents than last year.

A Hong Kong police spokesman said the force’s Welfare Services Group of its Personnel Wing had been in close contact with Li’s family.

The Post has contacted Tsang’s management for comment.