At least six people were injured by corrosive fluid thrown from a residential building in Hong Kong on Thursday night, soon after anti-government protesters had held a rally in a nearby shopping centre.
The chemical fell on passers-by at Lei Chak House in the public housing Ap Lei Chau Estate on the south side of Hong Kong Island at about 10.30pm.
At least six people, four men and two women, sustained burns on different parts of the body.
Others helped rinse their wounds, including blisters, with water. Five were later taken to Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam.
Police launched an investigation in the building. No arrests had been made as of 1am on Friday.
Democratic Party community officer Chan Po-ming said he was told by witnesses that three bottles of drain cleaner were thrown from the building. Glass bottles were also hurled.
Chan said he saw two drain cleaner containers on the ground. He said all the victims had just finished attending a rally in the nearby Marina Square mall at South Horizons residential estate.
Protesters had chanted slogans and sung their newest theme song, Glory to Hong Kong.
The rally was just one of a number held in shopping malls across the city on Thursday night as demonstrators continued with their calls for greater democracy and an inquiry into police’s handling of protests, among other demands. Earlier in the day, pro-Beijing demonstrators gathered in IFC to wave Chinese flags and sing the Chinese national anthem, while pro-democracy advocates countered with Glory to Hong Kong.
“[The people injured] were chanting slogans, including the five demands and the liberation of Hong Kong,” a witness said.
“Over at Lei Chak House, something just fell suddenly, then they complained about a strong pain on their legs. They thought it was drain cleaner.”
A woman in the neighbourhood said she had seen people at the mall chanting slogans and singing at about 10pm. She left after about 10 minutes but learned about the incident through social media. She condemned the perpetrator, saying the protesters were just singing.
Chan said the Housing Department, which manages Ap Lei Chau Estate, had been asked to show the security camera footage to assist with the investigation.