A truck driver has died after an unexplained crash on a controlled road between the mainland border and Hong Kong.
46-year-old mainland driver Mr Zhong was headed towards Yuen Long from Shenzhen along the restricted San Sham Road at 10pm, when, approaching the roundabout at San Tin Public Transport Interchange, he reportedly suddenly wavered off course and hit railings.
According to police, the cross-border truck, with both Hong Kong and mainland plates, continued for about 100 metres before hitting railings again and coming to a halt.
Police say the driver was “trapped” in the truck cab but video footage from the scene shows the cab intact and the damage to the truck appears largely cosmetic.
Fire crews rushed Zhong to North District Hospital unconscious, where he died, without regaining consciousness, two hours later.
Hong Kong police say they have jurisdiction in the case.
Truck drivers have been under increasing strain since the fifth wave peak in Hong Kong and a rising number of cases in mainland China.
All truck drivers now need to have a nucleic acid test to return to the mainland, adding to journey times: authorities say they are conducting around 1,300 tests a day, although less than 1 per cent have shown up positive.
On 11 March, the governments of Hong Kong, Guangdong Province and Shenzhen municipality announced a new “closed loop” cargo system of centralised cargo transfer points.
Controversially, the first truck greeted by Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan and the Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing (Transport), Mable Chan, did not have Hong Kong licence plates, bearing only a mainland registration, despite driving through almost the full length of New Territories on Hong Kong’s public roads.
“The governments of both sides plan to continue to carry out the cargo trial runs until the end of this month so as to review and adjust the detailed arrangements,” said the government in a statement.
Transport Department has not commented on the licensing issue.