A fatal industrial accident occurred in Austin Road West, West Kowloon yesterday morning (24th), and two plumbers, Kwok Gang Kee (61 years old) and Lau Ho-cheung (63 years old), died of suspected hydrogen sulfide poisoning while replacing seawater cooling pipes for the Yuanfang air-conditioning system.


The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Chan Kwok-kee, said today (25th) that there is no evidence that the contractor has acted in accordance with the law, the Police will investigate from the direction of criminal responsibility, and it is now handed over to the Major Crime Unit for follow-up, and two staff members have recorded confessions, and if there is evidence, prosecution will be filed.


A biogas leak was suspected at the site 1 Austin Road West in Yau Ma Tei, and two workers fainted and fell unconscious. (Photo by Ma Yaowen)

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Chan Kwok-kee, who met with the media after attending the event today, stated that there was currently no evidence that the contractor had acted in accordance with the requirements of the law, including arranging for a risk assessment of qualified persons, keeping the assessment report in plain sight, and proper training and suitable protective devices for workers.

He also pointed out that the Police had been instructed to investigate whether there was negligence from the criminal responsibility direction and that the Major Crime Unit took over, and that two staff members had recorded their confessions and would prosecute if there was evidence. He expressed his deep condolences to the affected families, SWD would provide assistance, and the Labour Department would review contractors under occupational safety and health regulations, and if they failed to comply with the regulations, they would be fined $10 million and imprisoned for two years.

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