Hong Kong Cancels CNY Fireworks Show To Mourn Bus Crash Victims
13 Feb 2018
Hong Kong’s Lunar New Year fireworks show, originally scheduled for this coming Saturday, has been called off out of respect for the victims of Hong Kong's deadliest traffic accident in more than a decade, the South China Morning Post reported yesterday.
As of last night, nineteen people were confirmed dead and 66 others injured from the accident that took place last Saturday when a KMB double-decker travelling from Sha Tin racecourse towards Tai Po suddenly swerved out of control and flipped on its side while making a turn near Tai Po Mei. Six people were still in hospital in critical condition on Monday evening. The 30-year-old bus driver has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.
The annual fireworks show was scheduled to run from 8pm on Saturday, the second day of the Lunar New Year holiday, and last for 23 minutes. That day, the seventh day after the tragedy, is when according to Chinese tradition, the spirit of a dead person returns home for a final farewell to loved ones.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced the cancellation and said city officials would refrain from attending any major celebratory events in the “next one or two weeks”. “This bus incident is an extremely tragic one, and in the last two days we have 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 also for the community to express their grief, it would not be very appropriate to continue with the Lunar New Year fireworks,” she explained.
Donations to the 84 families affected by the tragedy doubled to HK$42.5 million and Lam said the event sponsor, Chevalier International Holdings, had been informed of the cancellation and has pledged to donate no less than HK$1 million of the expected to cost of HK$8.8 million to stage the fireworks show to help the victims and their families.
Not the First Cancellation... Previous Cancellations:
- National Day in 2014, amid the pro-democracy Occupy protests,
- In 2013 during the first anniversary of the Lamma ferry crash, in which 39 people were killed.
Photo Credit: David Wong
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