A Hong Kong tree trimmer was killed on Wednesday when the extendable arm of a crane truck suddenly gave way, dropping the gondola – in which she and a colleague were working – five metres and slamming it into the back of the vehicle.
Tsang Choi-yu, 55, and a 46-year-old colleague – who suffered an injury to his waist area – were clearing branches for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department along Water Street in the city’s Western district at the time of the accident.
The gondola was about eight metres above ground when it dropped just after 9.30am, according to police, who added that initial investigation showed it had struck a metal stand on the back of the truck.
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“The female worker was found unconscious at the scene and her colleague complained of pain in the waist area,” a police spokesman said.
The pair were taken to Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam, where Tsang was certified dead at about 10.30am.
Police have classified the case as an industrial accident and informed the Labour Department and Electrical and Mechanical Services Department.
“The Labour Department immediately deployed staff to the scene upon receiving a report of the accident, and is now conducting an investigation to look into its cause,” a department spokesman said.
Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Vincent Liu Ming-kwong said he was deeply grieved by the death of the Hong Kong West Tree Team artisan and extended his deepest condolences to her family.
He said the two team members were equipped with suitable safety equipment while conducting tree trimming work on a hydraulic platform at the time of the incident.
“The cause of the incident is under investigation,” he said. “The department has been in touch with the family of the deceased staff member and will make every effort to help her family. The department also expressed sympathy to the injured colleague and wished him a speedy recovery.”
Civil service chief Patrick Nip Tak-kuen also offered his deepest condolences to Tsang’s family.
“The Civil Service Bureau has contacted the [Leisure and Cultural Services Department] and will make every effort to help the family during this sad and difficult period,” he said.
Nip also wished the injured worker a speedy recovery.
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