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West Kowloon Cultural District

Hong Kong student remains in coma more than a month after Road to Ultra music festival

Woman, who tested positive for controlled drugs, is believed to have an underlying heart problem

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 October, 2017, 9:03am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 October, 2017, 9:02am

A university student has been in a coma and connected to a life-support machine in hospital for more than a month after she was among four revellers who passed out during an electronic music festival at the West Kowloon arts hub in Hong Kong.

The woman, 21, and another two male survivors tested positive for controlled drugs but the two men, who have since regained consciousness, denied they had taken illegal substances, the Post learned.

The woman, understood to have an underlying heart problem, remained in critical condition in Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Monday. She attended the Road to Ultra music festival on September 16 when she returned to Hong Kong for the summer holidays while studying in Britain.

The other two survivors are local men aged 22 and 29, who collapsed during the festival and later regained consciousness in hospital.

Explain this: What happened at Road to Ultra and what’s next for Hong Kong’s festival scene?

The younger man is also a university student who returned to the city while studying in the United States. He remained in a stable condition in hospital on Monday.

The 29-year-old man recovered and left hospital after treatment.

The fourth victim was human resources consultant Chow Wai-ho, 27, who fainted in the venue and was pronounced dead in hospital an hour later.

The Post learned the three survivors had tested positive for controlled drugs, which could either be party or prescribed pills. Police are still waiting for toxicology reports to find out the kind of drugs they had taken.

Officers had interviewed the two male survivors, but “none of them admitted they had taken illegal drugs,” one police source said.

It is understood one of them claimed he felt unwell after taking a drink handed to him by someone in the venue and he did not know if it was drugged.

“Up to this stage, there was no indication to suggest that drug dealers sold illegal drugs at the venue,” the source said.

Police investigate after man dies at Road to Ultra electronic music festival in Hong Kong

No illegal drugs were found on the four victims, but a suspected ecstasy tablet and part of a blue pill suspected to be tranquilliser Midazolam were found by police at the event site.

An autopsy on Chow gave no clues as to the cause of death and further examinations such as toxicology tests were needed, according to another source.

The source said police were investigating a number of factors that might have caused the four victims to collapse.

“We will investigate whether they had overdosed by drugs or whether they suffered dehydration after dancing for hours,” he said. “We will also look into their medical backgrounds as part of the investigation.”

So far, no arrests have been made in connection with the case. Detectives from the Yau Tsim district crime squad are handling the investigation.

Police investigate after man dies at Road to Ultra electronic music festival in Hong Kong

According to police, the four victims – all Hongkongers – did not know each other and had gone to the venue separately. The four fell sick at different times during the festival held on the grass pitch in the Nursery Park area of the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Following the incident, CEO of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Duncan Pescod pledged that admission procedures and security checks for events at the West Kowloon arts hub would be reviewed.