City leader Carrie Lam has announced the government will cancel the Lunar New Year fireworks in light of the weekend’s deadly bus crash.
The fatal accident in Tai Po killed 19 people on Saturday and left scores injured, including several in critical condition.
Speaking this afternoon, the chief executive said that, given the tragedy, it was not appropriate to go ahead with the fireworks.
“In the last two days, we’ve heard from various quarters, including Legislative Council members across the political spectrum, suggesting that in order to pay respect to the deceased and the victims and for the community to express their grief, it was not very appropriate to continue with the Chinese New Year fireworks on the second day of the Lunar New Year,” she said, according to audio published by RTHK.
The fireworks display had been set to run from 8pm on Saturday and last for 23 minutes.
The crash occurred on Saturday evening when a KMB bus travelling from Sha Tin racecourse towards Tai Po lost control and flipped on its side while making a turn near Tai Po Mei.
Most victims of the accident on Saturday evening, which saw the double decker flip smash into a lamppost, were men aged in their 50s and 60s, according to local media.
The bus driver, reported to be a 30-year-old man surnamed Chan, was arrested for dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, Apple Daily reported.
Around 200 family and friends of the 19 victims were at the site of the crash on Sunday afternoon to mourn their loved ones.
They were attending a ceremony at the crash site held by a Taoist master to help “call back the spirits of their loved ones.”
Lam also said the Hong Kong and national flags will fly at half-mast on Tuesday at the government’s headquarters, and added that her cabinet will hold a minute of silence before the Executive Council meeting.
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