Law and Enforcement

GOVT LONG WARNED OF “MALPRACTICE” AT TRUCK DEATH SITE โ€“ BUT FAILED TO SHUT DOWN YAU TONG’S CEMENT COWBOYS

The government had previously warned of poor conditions at this cement batching plant where a man was killed today: officials had tried unsuccessfully shut it down

A man was killed by a cement truck driver this afternoon outside a concrete batching plant the government had unsuccessfully tried to shut down over nuisance and “malpractice” concerns.

Mr Chan, 63, was walking on the pavement on Tung Yuen Street when he was struck by the cement truck driven by Mr Lee, 55, who was pulling into the plant at 20 Tung Yuen Street. Chan was trapped under the truck and declared dead at the scene.

The Yau Tong plant had its licence revoked by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) in April this year, yet was still in operation. EPD in April said it found “repeated” instances of malpractice at the site, and had prosecuted the owners last year for “suspected violations of the licence terms”.

In fact the Yau Tong district has been plagued by concrete plant problems, with the building boom in Kowloon East and Tseung Kwan O attracting dozens of operators into the market.

Many have proved bad neighbours.

The plant at 22 Tung Yuen Street, adjacent to the deadly crash and run by China Concrete, simply refused to obey instructions to shut down when EPD revoked its licence last year and continued to operate illegally. EPD eventually secured a court injunction this April to attempt to stop the plant operating โ€“ it is not known if the injunction had finally brought the plant to a halt.

Lawmakers raised the issue in 2020 but Development Bureau has, as yet, failed to rein in the cowboys.

“Concrete is an important construction material, and it is necessary to set up [concrete batching plants] in each major region to support the construction works within the region from an operational point of view,” the former Secretary for Development Michael Wong said in response to lawmaker complaints in 2020.

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