Crowds pay tribute to HKUST student who died from carpark fall

December 13, 2019 14:18
People line up to attend the memorial service for Alex Chow Tsz-lok at the Po Fook Memorial Hall in Tai Wai on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

Thousands of people gathered in Tai Wai on Thursday night to pay tribute to a student who died from injuries after a fall from a carpark in Tsueng Kwan O last month.

The death of Alex Chow Tsz-lok, a second-year computer science student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), heightened public anger over the police force's alleged excessive use of force. His fall happened while police were dispersing anti-government protesters in the area.

Among those who came to Po Fook Memorial Hall to remember the 22-year-old student were HKUST president Professor Wei Shyy, retired Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, and other public figures and pro-democracy activists, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Even before the Po Fook Memorial Hall was open to the public at 5 p.m., there were already long queues of people outside.

The memorial service was supposed to end at 8 p.m. and the hall itself was scheduled to close at 10 p.m., but hundreds of people were still seen lining up outside late into the night to pay their respects to the departed.

Floral wreaths filled the hall and many of the offerings only bore "A Hongkonger". Messages written in Chinese included “Glory to Tsz-lok”, “Always remember our comrade”, and “We are those who walk together”.  

Most of those who came were young people, and many openly shed tears.

While the service was being held, several vehicles full of riot police officers were parked nearby.

Earlier, officers randomly stopped and searched passers-by near the Tai Wai MTR Station, where shuttle buses were available for people going to Po Fook Memorial Hall.

Chow’s funeral was held at the memorial hall on Friday morning, and after the ceremony, his body was sent to the crematorium.

In the early hours of Nov. 4, police officers fired tear gas at a three-story car park of Sheung Tak Estate, a public housing estate near Tseung Kwan O MTR Station, to disperse anti-government protesters.

At around 1:10 a.m., Chow was found lying unconscious on the second floor of the car park and was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He died on Nov. 8.

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