Date
30 May 2017
The wall at the former Central Police Station compound on Hollywood Road collapsed on Sunday night. Photos: Facebook/Central and Western Concern Group, TVB
The wall at the former Central Police Station compound on Hollywood Road collapsed on Sunday night. Photos: Facebook/Central and Western Concern Group, TVB

Search for victims continues after wall in Central collapses

Rescuers continued to search for victims after a brick wall collapsed at the former Central Police Station compound on Hollywood Road on Sunday night.

The Fire Services Department deployed its urban search and rescue team to the site, which has been undergoing renovation over the past several years, after it received a report a little after 10 p.m. about the accident, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Witnesses heard a series of loud bangs after a wall, measuring 10 meters in height and 8 meters in width, collapsed at the compound’s Block B together with its steel frames for unknown reasons.

The block used to house a dormitory for married police officers.

While no one has been reported missing, members of the team proceeded with caution as they removed the debris and used life-sign detectors to determine if people had been trapped in the rubble.

As the accident happened on a Sunday, rescuers said there should be no one in the area except for the security guards, who have been accounted for, Apple Daily reports.

The compound, also known as Tai Kwun, has been declared a monument. It comprises three groups of buildings, including the Central Police Station, which was built in 1864, the former Central Magistracy built in 1914 and the Victoria Prison built in 1841.

In 2007 the Hong Kong Jockey Club submitted a proposal to the government to rehabilitate the compound, offering to shoulder the cost of renovation, development and maintenance.

Work began in 2011 and construction is expected to be completed by the second half of 2016.

The plan is to transform the historic site into a leading cultural and leisure destination where heritage, contemporary art and leisure elements are creatively integrated for all to enjoy.

The project was once opposed by the district council and residents because of its enormous size.

The total cost is estimated to be HK$1.8 billion, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

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TL/AC/CG

A portion of the building before its collapse, and after (inset). Photos: Facebook/Central and Western.Concern Group, RTHK


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