Hong Kong typhoon: 1 killed and 3 rescued after scaffolding collapses

  • Emergency services raced to the scene of the Happy Valley estate after residents were trapped and the road was blocked
  • Kindergarten classes were cancelled when the T3 signal was raised, and heavy rain could lead to flooding in the evening

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Firefighters searching for victims after a scaffolding collapsed on Broadwood Road in Happy Valley. Photo: Felix Wong

A worker died and three others were rescued by emergency personnel after massive scaffolding around a high-rise residential building in Hong Kong collapsed on Friday morning under the onslaught of heavy rain and strong winds brought by a typhoon.

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Police said two women working on the site at Beverly Hill estate on Broadwood Road in Happy Valley were located after the collapse, with one being pulled from underneath the scaffolding unconscious, while her colleague was unhurt.

The injured woman died in Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai at around 12.45pm, according to police.

Scaffolding collapsed and blocked Broadwood Road in Happy Valley. Photo: Facebook

Seven people – five men and the two women – were working on the scaffolding when it suddenly came crashing down, completely covering the entrance to the private housing estate and blocking the road below.

Two drivers who were trapped in their vehicles were also rescued. One suffered minor injuries.

Emergency services raced to the scene just after 10.30am following the collapse of the bamboo scaffolding and netting which covered all 30 floors of the block at the entrance of the estate.

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Torrential downpours prompted the Hong Kong Observatory to upgrade its rainstorm warning to black – the highest level – at 11.45am. The warning was downgraded to red an hour later, with heavy rain still lashing the city.

The last time a black rainstorm signal was issued was on June 28.

Forecasters have also warned of flooding in low-lying areas of the city.

The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority said the ACT test slated for Friday afternoon would be postponed, pending further announcements on rescheduling arrangements.

At 10am on Friday morning, tropical storm Lionrock was estimated to be about 630km southwest of Hong Kong, the Observatory said, adding that the storm might move north slowly towards the vicinity of Hainan island. Photo: SCMP/ Felix Wong

Earlier, all kindergarten classes in Hong Kong were suspended after the Hong Kong Observatory issued a No 3 typhoon signal, which they said was expected to remain in force for most of the day.

They also warned residents to be on the alert, and said a storm surge and heavy rain could lead to flooding this evening. A thunderstorm warning was issued at 10.16am.

The strong wind signal came in force at 4.40am, and the city woke to heavy rain, but the chance of forecasters issuing a higher typhoon signal was relatively low, the Observatory added.

At 10am, tropical storm Lionrock was estimated to be about 630km southwest of Hong Kong, with the storm forecast to move north at about 10km/h towards the vicinity of Hainan Island.

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“A storm surge induced by Lionrock and heavy rain may lead to flooding in low-lying areas tonight,” it added. “Members of the public should be on the alert, and take precautions against strong winds and flooding.”

The rainfall was so heavy that a key section of the west-bound King’s Road outside the Quarry Bay MTR station was flooded.

At 11.20pm on Thursday, the observatory issued an amber rainstorm warning, which means heavy rain has fallen or is expected to fall across the city at a rate exceeding 30mm in an hour.

Strong winds and heavy rain were also likely to put a damper on the weekend, the Observatory said, although residents would get a reprieve from the heat with temperatures falling to between 26 and 29 degrees Celsius.

The typhoon signal was the fourth this year, and the third No 3 warning.

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