Two men are in a critical condition after being hit on the head by hard objects during clashes in two different parts of the New Territories yesterday.
Local media reports that the two men, aged 15 and 70, were hit on the head by a tear gas canister and a brick, respectively, as intense protests continue across the city.
Apple Daily reported that the 70-year-old man was a cleaner who got caught up in clashes between pro-Beijing loyalists and anti-government protesters on Lung Wan Street in Sheung Shui, close to the North District town hall.
Video circulating online shows the moment he gets hit on the head by what appears to be a brick (about eight seconds in) as both sides hurl projectiles at each other.
The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department issued a statement in the early hours of this morning confirming that one of their outsourced workers was hit on the head by “hard objects hurled by masked rioters during his lunch break yesterday.”
The statement said that he remains in a critical condition and that the department had been in contact with his family.
Echoing the government line, the statement goes onto to condemn protesters for their “outrageous” acts.
“Masked rioters conducted extremely dangerous and violent acts in various districts three days in a row, where they wantonly assaulted other members of the public,” the statement reads.
“Police will resolutely take law enforcement actions to restore public order. The HKSAR Government appeals to members of the public to stay calm and rational as well as to stay away from violence to safeguard personal safety.”
Meanwhile, later yesterday evening in Tin Shui Wai, a 15-year-old boy surnamed Fu had to be taken to hospital after being struck on the head with a tear gas canister. Video circulating online — which some readers may find upsetting — show the boy bleeding from the head receiving first aid at the scene.
According to Stand News, the incident happened after protesters set up barricades and blocked roads in Tin Shui Wai and gathered outside the Tin Shui Wai police station. Some protesters threw molotov cocktails at the station, prompting officers to respond with tear gas, firing it at a nearby shopping center called Kingswood Richly Plaza, where Fu was injured.
He was rushed to Tuen Mun Hospital, and the outlet reports he had to undergo four hours of brain surgery because his skull had been fractured.
Another protester died last week after similarly suffering a brain injury in a fall while police conducted a clearance operation nearby. His death fueled fresh protests, which have only continued to intensify after an officer shot a protester at point blank range, and another man was set on fire following an argument with protesters.
Universities have become the latest battleground in recent days, with pitched battles between police and protesters raging at Chinese University Hong Kong, and tear gas rounds being fired at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, and City University of Hong Kong.