A member of the public has revealed that he sounded an alert on a broken-down truck in the middle of a Hong Kong highway about 15 minutes before a double-decker bus slammed into the vehicle, killing both drivers and injuring 16 others. The Western Harbour Tunnel Company, which manages the motorway, is under increasing pressure to explain why it took nearly 45 minutes to become aware of the truck stopped in the second lane of the West Kowloon Highway on Monday morning. A “performance pledge” on the company’s website said it would take no more than three minutes for staff to arrive at the scene of an incident within the tunnel area. On Wednesday, Lau Kai-man, a community organiser for political party Roundtable, said on a radio programme that he had passed the stationary vehicle on his motorcycle at about 10am. “Cars began swerving around, steering away from the second lane,” he said. “I was quite frightened when I saw that the obstacles the [truck] driver put on the road to alert other drivers were too close to his vehicle … the tailgate of the truck was down and he was working inside.” Lau said he could barely see the truck’s hazard lights because they were partly blocked by the tailgate. West Kowloon bus crash: why was truck stranded for 45 minutes? “When I got to the toll plaza, I alerted the toll-collecting staff,” he said. About 15 minutes later, at 10.23am, a Citybus double-decker headed towards Admiralty smashed into the rear of the truck. Bus driver So Kwok-wai, 59, was partly thrown through the windscreen and left hanging out of the vehicle, police said. He was declared dead at the scene. The truck driver, Liem Tan-hung, 54, was hit by the bus and thrown more than 10 metres. He was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he was later certified dead. On Tuesday, the Transport Department asked the Western Harbour Tunnel Company to explain why it had taken so long to spot the truck, which broke down just before 9.30am. The company responded that it had learned about the vehicle at 10.12am – nearly 45 minutes later. The firm said its control room immediately turned on an overhead warning sign and sent a recovery vehicle to the scene. Cheuk Wo-sin, chairman of the Hong Kong Tunnel and Highway Employees’ General Union, said it was unacceptable that the company had become aware of the situation only after it was reported by a a driver on the road. Two dead, 16 injured after Citybus double-decker crashes into truck “They should have a better system because you can’t rely on other drivers to report incidents like these, and the company should have cars patrolling at least every 15 to 30 minutes to spot irregularities,” he said. “There are also CCTVs, so [the fact that] the staff in charge at the control room had overlooked that for more than half an hour shows that the mechanism is problematic,” Cheuk added. The Western Harbour Tunnel Company did not respond to the Post ’s inquiries on Wednesday.