Law and Enforcement


Google Street View shows exterior bamboo scaffolding and unauthorised building works are a near-permanent feature of the Mong Kok building where a falling metal pole killed a woman yesterday. Right: media gather for a police press conference about the 63-year-old woman’s death

A pedestrian was killed in Mong Kok yesterday after a 60 cm metal pole from an unauthorised building works removal fell 11 floors and through a restaurant canopy onto her head.

Police say Ms Chan, 63, was walking on the market spanning Cheung Wong Road and Shamchun Street at 2:17pm when she was struck by the heavy metal object which fell from scaffolding outside the 11th floor of Cheong Fat Mansion.

The street, which appeared in the 2011 movie Contagion for its dark Hong Kong streetscape, was packed with shoppers and restaurant-goers just after the lunchtime rush.

Witnesses told local media the pole smashed through the canopy of a restaurant before striking Chan on the head. The victim was rushed to Kwong Wah Hospital unconscious but was certified dead at 2:45pm.

Police arrested a construction worker, Mr Chong, 60, for allowing objects to fall from height.

The exterior renovation work was being undertaken under orders from the Buildings Department, which had ordered the removal of some unauthorised building works on the exterior of the apartment.

Teetering exterior bamboo scaffoldings and unauthorised building works are a common feature of buildings in the neighbourhood, while Transit Jam has previously reported on the lax attitudes of government departments to falling debris from worksites, with the Environmental Protection Department going as far as lying to cover up for errant construction firms.

And while the government has often pledged to crack down on dangerous exterior building works, former Chief Executive Carrie Lam sent mixed messages on the issue in 2018 when she asked the community to adopt a “forbearing attitude” concerning unauthorised building works found at the residence of her recently appointed Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng.

Cheng was never charged for the illegal structures at her luxury mansion.

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