Giant screen crashes on stage in Hong Kong: One Mirror dancer in intensive care, inquiry ordered

Videos widely circulated online show the screen landing directly on the dancer, apparently striking his neck.

HONG KONG (NYTIMES) - Hong Kong authorities will investigate why a large, heavy video screen fell from the ceiling during a concert by popular boy band Mirror at a government-managed venue, injuring two dancers, officials said on Friday (July 29).

The accident happened during a performance on Thursday night by the 12-member band in the Chinese territory whose popularity has grown during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to preliminary findings released on Friday, one of two metal cords suspending the massive screen had snapped.

In footage from the concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum, audience members scream after the video screen lands directly on one dancer, apparently striking his neck. The South China Morning Post newspaper later reported that one of the two male dancers had suffered neck injuries and was in intensive care. It said the other was in stable condition.

Parents of the dancer in intensive care will reportedly travel back to Hong Kong from Canada on Saturday, according to Crossroad Community Baptist Church, which urged the public to pray for the dancer.

The coliseum is 23m high, according to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the government agency that manages the venue. The screens for the four-sided projection system installed at the centre of the venue are each 5m by 3.9m.

Mr John Lee, Hong Kong's chief executive, said in a statement on early Friday that he had asked the leisure department and other agencies to investigate the accident and "review the safety requirements of similar performance activities".

"I am shocked by the incident," Mr Lee said. "I express sympathy to those who were injured and hope that they would recover soon."

Hong Kong authorities said in a separate statement that the government had contacted the concert organisers on Wednesday - the day before the accident - about "stage incidents in the past few days".

It did not elaborate, and the leisure department could not immediately be reached for comment.

On Tuesday, a member of Mirror, Frankie Chan Sui-fai, fell off the stage at the Hong Kong Coliseum during the second day of the band's scheduled 12-day series of concerts, The South China Morning Post reported. He fell about 1m and was not seriously hurt, according to the report.

Makerville, the concert organiser, apologised for the Thursday night accident in an Instagram post early Friday, adding that Mirror's remaining concerts at the venue would be cancelled. The band's management did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mirror, a K-pop-style band that sing in Cantonese, have offered some relief to residents of the former British colony during a tumultuous period of its history.

Barriers erected outside the Hong Kong Coliseum after a giant video panel fell onto the stage during a concert by Mirror on July 29, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

In 2019, the city was consumed by months of mass protests triggered by a proposed law to allow extraditions to mainland China. Then came a thicket of pandemic-related restrictions that have battered Hong Kong's economy, as well as a sweeping national security law that has curtailed freedoms.

Mirror's escapist lyrics have been a balm of sorts for an anxious population. The band have sold out concert halls, accounting for some of the city's only large-scale events during the pandemic. Its members' faces have been plastered on billboards, buses and subway ads.

The coliseum where Mirror were performing Thursday opened in 1983, according to the leisure department's website. It seats about 12,500 people, the site says.

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