Date
6 December 2016
TV hostess Renci Yeung (left) was seriously injured and required hospitalization. This year's Flutag event by Red Bull was marred by numerous injuries. Photo: Renci Yeung/Facebook
TV hostess Renci Yeung (left) was seriously injured and required hospitalization. This year's Flutag event by Red Bull was marred by numerous injuries. Photo: Renci Yeung/Facebook

Red Bull under fire for injury-ridden flying contest

At least 14 people were injured in a flying competition organized by energy drink Red Bull at the old Kai Tak airport runway on Sunday.

Four required hospitalization, with the condition of two female participants, aged 23 and 27, classified as serious, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Two male participants, aged 28 and 33, are in stable condition.

Sources identified the 23-year-old female as Renci Yeunga local TV hostess.

Red Bull said there were five cases of injuries requiring treatment at hospitals. Nine involved minor injuries sustained from diving into the sea.

All participants were required to sign a disclaimer and wear a helmet and life vest. Life boats were on duty throughout the contest, organizers said.

A male pilot of one of the human-powered craft received eight stitches on his eyebrows after plunging into the water.

The female pilot of team ViuTV Se7en sustained short-term memory loss.

She was brought to hospital in serious condition, although she was conscious the whole time.

About 300 teams signed up for the annual Flugtag — flight day in German. Forty-one teams advanced into Sunday’s final.

Team Blank Space snatched the winners’ trophy by flying the longest distance of 15 meters.

According to Apple Daily, the competition was in its third edition this year.

Medical sector legislator Pierre Chan said some participants were suffering from hypothermia and short-term memory loss which are symptoms of acute trauma, the report said.

Chan criticized the organizers for playing down the injuries and failing to inform the participants about the dangers, adding that the organizers’ handling of the event was reckless.

Fellow lawmaker Alvin Yeung said the organizer had the responsibility to provide rescue services.

They should have come forward to address the issues once there were injuries, instead of relying on the disclaimers signed by the participants.

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EL/JP/RA

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