HK double-decker topples over, killing 18

Emergency workers trying to reach people trapped in the double-decker bus that toppled over near the town of Tai Po in Hong Kong yesterday.
Emergency workers trying to reach people trapped in the double-decker bus that toppled over near the town of Tai Po in Hong Kong yesterday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

HONG KONG • At least 18 people were killed and dozens injured when a double-decker bus toppled over in Hong Kong yesterday evening, police said.

Photographs on local media websites showed the bus lying on its side by a road with its roof torn off near the town of Tai Po in the northern New Territories.

It appeared to have slid on its side and hit a lamp post which cut through the front of the vehicle.

The dead included 15 males and three females, police said. It was not yet known what caused the accident but passengers quoted by local media said the driver was going fast before the crash.

"It was much faster than I normally felt in a bus," an injured passenger told the South China Morning Post's online edition. "And then it was like the tyre slipped, and the bus turned... It was really chaotic in the bus. People fell on one another and got tossed from side to side."

Passengers had complained to the driver, who was reportedly 10 minutes late, and he then kept speeding up before the bus crashed, the Apple Daily reported, quoting injured passengers.

The driver has been arrested on two counts of causing death and grievous bodily harm by dangerous driving.

An executive surnamed So, with the Kowloon Motor Bus company that operated the bus, said HK$80,000 (S$13,700) in financial assistance would be paid to the families of each victim. The firm said it would set up an investigation team to probe the cause of the crash.

Separately in Indonesia, at least 27 people died when a bus carrying domestic tourists crashed on the island of Java, police said yesterday.

The crash happened when the bus, which had at least 40 people on board, hit a motorbike as it was speeding down a hill in the Subang region of West Java province, causing it to roll over multiple times.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 11, 2018, with the headline 'HK double-decker topples over, killing 18'. Print Edition | Subscribe