Construction site sub-contractor remanded pending hearing after allegedly causing 2 workers to die at West Kowloon

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29th September 2023 – (Hong Kong) A fatal industrial accident occurred on Sunday (24th) at a construction site on West Kowloon’s Austin Road West. It is suspected that two male workers died from inhaling hydrogen sulfide poisoning. The law enforcement authorities had previously arrested the site’s second-in-command and senior project manager. Subsequently, one of them was charged with one count of manslaughter. The case was brought before the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts this morning (29th). The defendant did not need to enter a plea, and the prosecution applied for the case to be adjourned until 27th December to await forensic examination, including the examination of the crime scene evidence, autopsy reports of the deceased, analysis of closed-circuit television footage, and testimonies from witnesses. The judge ultimately approved the adjournment request. The defence applied for bail on behalf of the defendant, but it was denied, and the defendant will remain in custody.

The defendant, Shum Yuk-kuen (62 years old), identified as a company director, is facing one count of manslaughter. It is alleged that between September 23rd and 24th September, 2023, on Austin Road West, Yau Ma Tei, specifically at the Gamman construction site, including the integrated theatre and the extended basement section L2, the defendant unlawfully caused the deaths of Lau Ho-cheung and Kwok Fo-kei.

The defendant, who is of a larger build and shorter stature, appeared calm within the dock and acknowledged the charges. It is reported that the defendant is the sole proprietor and director of a civil engineering company and was the second-in-command of the project in question. On 23rd September of this year, the defendant led the two deceased individuals to the site for preliminary maintenance work. After approximately 20 minutes, the defendant left the location, while the victims remained on-site. Concerned about their absence at home, the families of the deceased contacted the defendant. He arrived at the site the next morning and discovered the victims unconscious, prompting him to report the incident. Unfortunately, both victims did not survive.