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Traffic and road safety in Hong Kong

Kowloon bus crash survivor recounts tale of horror

Three people were killed and dozens injured in crash on Friday evening

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 5:59pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 September, 2017, 11:33pm

When Mandy, a clerk in her 30s, got on her bus home on Friday night, she could not have known she would be just one seat away from death.

“I could have been squashed if I was not thrown to the next seat,” said Mandy, one of the survivors of a deadly bus crash in Kowloon on Friday evening in which three people were killed, including a woman seated just two rows in front of her. She and 29 others were injured.

The double-decker Citybus she boarded swerved left into a pedestrian and slammed into the pavement railing, a road sign and an overhanging building canopy at the junction of Yen Chow Street and Cheung Sha Wan Road in Sham Shui Po at around 6.30pm on Friday.

Police said the route E21A bus, on its way to Ho Man Tin from Tung Chung on Lantau Island, had been trying to avoid hitting a taxi that suddenly slowed down in front of it. Four people were trapped under the bus and four passengers were left stuck on the upper deck.

Mandy, who wished to be identified only by her English name, told the Post at a hospital on Saturday that she was sitting next to the window on the left of the upper deck when the accident happened.

She recalled the bus was travelling at a normal speed at the time.

“When we got to Sham Shui Po, I felt a shake then the bus crashed. I was thrown to the seat next [to me], on which my bag was placed, and I was left in a bracing posture, like what one might take in an earthquake,” she said.

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When Mandy looked up, the back of her original seat was bent forward. Concrete rubble from the building hit by the bus was all over her head and back. The front part of the upper deck was destroyed and the rest was left in chaos.

A woman sitting two rows in front of Mandy was not so lucky.

“I saw a big pile of wreckage on her, her head on the next seat and blood spattered on the floor, the wall and the stairs,” said Mandy, who was later told that the woman died.

I thought she could have survived like me
bus passenger named Mandy

“I thought she could have survived like me.”

She said she was in so much shock that she burst into tears when she saw the blood and debris around her as she walked out of the bus with help from other passengers.

But instead of waiting for an ambulance, Mandy left the scene with five other passengers, thinking she was unhurt.

Mandy was later admitted to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei after she felt back pain when she returned home.

She said she had not thought of seeking compensation from Citybus, saying her case was not as serious as others’.

But she thought she might need counselling, as she was still haunted by the deadly scene.

“My heart is troubled by some uncomfortable feelings,” she said, adding she might not be able to take bus trips in future.