At least five people were killed and more than 30 others injured after a coach collided with a taxi at North West Tsing Yi Interchange, Tsing Yi around 5am today.
Several of the people injured were in serious condition. About 10 ambulances were dispatched to the scene.
“Initial information showed a taxi driver was certified dead in hospital and four people from the coach were certified dead at the scene,” a police spokesman said. The coach driver was rushed to hospital where he had surgery and is in intensive care. The taxi's only passenger escaped with light injuries and returned to their hotel.
Twenty-seven other victims – 22 men and five women – were in stable or satisfactory condition at Princess Margaret Hospital, Yan Chai Hospital, Caritas Medical Centre and Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Some of the coach passengers were thrown out of the vehicle in the collision. Police said they had not been wearing their seat belts.
The taxi was seriously damaged while the windshield of the coach was completely smashed.
A coach passenger said other passengers told them the taxi was stationary when the coach crashed into it at full speed.
“The coach was fast. According to the other passengers seated at the front, there was a taxi pulled over on the side of the road and had its hazard lights on. But it seemed to me that the coach did not slow down. I fell onto the floor [when it crashed],” the passenger said.
Many of the injured passengers from the coach were treated on the scene.
One of them said the accident involved multiple crashes between the two vehicles.
“The coach crashed on its left [side] and its right before hitting the barrier in the middle of the highway and stopped. The speed was quite high, so some people fell onto the floor,” he said.
Another passenger also confirmed there were multiple crashes between the coach and the taxi.
“It was very chaotic,” he added.
A passing motorist told media that after he drove past the coach and taxi, he glanced at his rear view mirror and saw “the taxi had turned on its hazard lights and stopped”.
He said there was a loud sound and from the mirror he saw “the coach rammed into the right rear of the taxi which was catapulted for a distance and the coach was veering left and right after the collision’’.
After the collision, the taxi driver passed out at the wheel. Police said the man was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital in Lai Chi Kok, where he was declared dead.
A police spokesman at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung said eight men and two women were sent to the hospital, including the two drivers.
By 8am, the bus driver had undergone surgery for his head injuries and sent to the intensive care unit.
Two passengers, a man and a woman, have been discharged while the remaining six passengers, including five men and one woman, are stable and still in hospital.
The transport department announced that because of the accident, some of the airport-bound lanes on Cheung Tsing Highway near Kam Chuk Kok, as well as the Kowloon-bound fast lane of Ting Kau Bridge, had been closed to all traffic.
Due to traffic congestion in the area, the department advised members of the public to allow for more travelling time, consider using alternative routes or to take the train.