Nine people, including seven primary school pupils, hurt as school bus hits concrete divider on Hong Kong highway
- Incident comes less than a day after another school bus rolled down slope in North Point, killing four and injuring 11
Nine people, including seven primary school pupils, were hurt when a school bus hit a concrete divider on the Kwun Tong Bypass in Kowloon East early on Tuesday morning.
It was the second accident involving a school bus in less than 24 hours. On Monday afternoon, a 19-seater rolled 100 metres down a slope near Cheung Hong Street in North Point and rammed into a building on Hei Wo Street, killing four people and injuring 11.
Police were alerted to the latest incident at 7.42am on Tuesday.
“Nine people were hurt, including the driver, a nanny and seven pupils,” a police spokesman said. “All of them were conscious.”
Officials said the nanny, a 64-year-old woman, was in critical condition in Prince of Wales Hospital, in Sha Tin, after suffering injuries to her legs and pelvis.
The condition of the 74-year-old driver, who was trapped and had to be freed by firefighters, was said to be serious.
Seven pupils aged between six and 11 – two boys and five girls – were treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Yau Ma Tei, and Prince of Wales Hospital, and later discharged.
It was not immediately clear how many pupils were on board the vehicle.
The bus was on the section of the highway off Kai Ching Estate, heading towards Sha Tin.
At 8.45am, the scene had yet to be cleared. Most of the road was blocked, with a long queue of vehicles stretching almost to Laguna City, about 5km away.
An access road linking the bypass with Prince Edward Road East was also obstructed. It was opened at about 9am, but traffic in the area remained congested.
Connecting Lam Tin and Kowloon Bay in Kowloon East, the Kwun Tong Bypass is a 5.2km elevated motorway with three lanes in each direction and a speed limit of 70 to 80km/h.
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Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Tuesday morning expressed her condolences to the families of those who died in Monday’s accident. Lam said she hoped for a speedy recovery for the 11 injured. Three remained in critical condition while one was classed as serious.
At the end of November there had been 99 fatal accidents on Hong Kong’s roads this year, an increase on the 90 in the same period of 2017, Lam said, citing statistics from the Transport Department. This was despite the number of accidents remaining roughly the same, at about 14,000.
Some 118 people have died in 2018, compared to 94 last year – a rise of 25 per cent.
“Even one serious road accident is too many,” Lam said.
She urged all drivers to think about their “crucial responsibilities” when getting behind the wheel.
Officials would step up work to improve the design and maintenance of roads, and would ramp up awareness campaigns on road safety, she added.