24 August 2019
Firefighters took nearly three hours to put out the blaze. Photo: Ming Pao Daily
Firefighters took nearly three hours to put out the blaze. Photo: Ming Pao Daily

Special team to probe deadly blasts and blaze

Hong Kong’s Fire Services Department is forming a special investigation team to look into the cause of the fatal blasts in Wong Tai Sin, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.

The explosions, followed by a raging fire, came from a garage in Wang Fung Street at about 3:40 p.m. Sunday afternoon, shattering the windows of several buildings on both sides of the street.

Some residents in the neighborhood described the scene as similar to the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

Three people died, including two men: the 47-year-old owner of the garage, surnamed Hu, and a 61-year-old taxi driver surnamed Chan.

The body of a woman surnamed Ng was recovered in the glass shop she ran next door.

Nine people were injured, police said. Six of them were still in various hospitals Sunday night, and two had been discharged.

A 32-year-old worker at the garage was in a critical condition.

The blaze was not put out until about 6:28 p.m., although firefighting trucks arrived at the site about five minutes after the explosions.

More than 120 people were evacuated, including 99 from a nearby home for the elderly.

The blasts damaged seven cars. 

Some automotive experts suspected the explosions might have originated with an acetylene cylinder. 

But the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department said that scenario had not been confirmed.

Meanwhile, the Wong Tai Sin Police Station crime unit is forming an interdepartmental team to find out if any crime was involved.

It called for citizens or witnesses to phone investigators at 2352 9477 or 2352 9456 if they knew or saw anything that might help determine the cause of the incident.

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