Bus driver in Hong Kong fatal crash charged

Nineteen people died and 66 others were injured on Feb 10 when a KMB double-decker travelling from Sha Tin racecourse towards Tai Po suddenly swerved out of control and flipped on its side. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG - A bus driver has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, after his double-decker overturned last week on a road in Hong Kong's New Territories, killing 19 people.

The suspect, Chan Ho Ming, 30, who declared he was a cook, appeared at the Fanling Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (Feb 13) looking tired after his hearing, reported South China Morning Post.

Prosecutors, who were given eight more weeks for investigation, said Chan could be slapped with more serious charges, pending legal advice.

Nineteen people died and 66 others were injured last Saturday (Feb 10) when a double-decker belonging to KMB bus company travelling from Sha Tin race course towards Tai Po suddenly swerved out of control and flipped on its side while making a turn near Tai Po Mei.

It was the city's deadliest traffic accident in more than a decade.

Six people were still in hospital in critical condition on Monday evening.

The Hong Kong and national flags were flown at half mast at the government headquarters in Admiralty on Tuesday to mourn the dead victims, while the city's legislature and Chief Executive Carrie Lam's Cabinet observed a minute's silence.

Also late Monday (Feb 12), the Hong Kong Jockey Club announced that its horse races on Wednesday (Feb 14) would still take place but that one minute of silence would be observed for those who died in the accident. The club added that it would fly its flag at half mast as well.

Mrs Lam said city officials would refrain from attending any major celebratory events in the "next one or two weeks".

The city's Chinese New Year fireworks set for this Saturday (Feb 17) have been called off out of respect for the victims.

It is not the first time fireworks have been cancelled, according to the Post.

There were no pyrotechnics on National Day in 2014, amid the pro-democracy Occupy protests, and exactly a year before that in 2013 during the first anniversary of the Lamma ferry crash, in which 39 people were killed.

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