Domestic helper pulled to safety minutes before car catches fire

November 19, 2015 12:05
A fireman inspects the shell of a Toyata Alphard (inset) after it burst into flames in Chai Wan district on Wednesday. Photos: Ming Pao, Apple Daily

A man helped a domestic helper get out of a car minutes before the vehicle went up in flames in Chai Wan district on Wednesday.

The pair was traveling in a Toyota Alphard 7-seater sedan at around noon when the vehicle developed some problems and smoke began billowing from the front.

The driver, a 56-year-old man surnamed Wong, stopped the car by the roadside to conduct checks.

But his traveling companion, a 30-year-old domestic helper who was sitting in the rear, found herself unable to step out as a power sliding door wouldn't open.

Sensing that the maid was trapped, Wong used all his strength to force the door open manually.

He succeeded after some frantic effort and managed to pull the maid out to safety just as the car was beginning to catch fire.

The incident took place along Shing Tai Road in Heng Fa Chuen, according to Ming Pao Daily.

Firemen arrived shortly and put out the fire. 

The Toyota Alphard sedan was purchased about one-and-a-half year ago, according to the car owner who arrived at the scene after the accident.

Ringo Lee Yiu-pui, chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of the Motor Industry, said the Alphard sedan has a power sliding door on the side. The door may have malfunctioned due to short-circuit, he said.

However, the other doors, both the front and the back, can be opened manually even when the central locking system is out of order, Lee said.

-- Contact us at [email protected]