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Fines levied over Hong Kong video screen collapse

One dancer was critically injured in the July 2022 incident during a concert by boy band Mirror at Hong Kong Coliseum

By James Hanley on 22 Jan 2024


Three companies have been fined in connection with the incident in which a giant video screen fell on two dancers during a concert in Hong Kong.

One dancer was critically injured in the incident, which took place during a show by Cantopop boy band Mirror at Hong Kong Coliseum on 28 July 2022. A second dancer was also hospitalised but not seriously injured.

An investigation also found that another dancer suffered injuries to his chest, knee and neck after falling up to three metres during a rehearsal for the first concert on 25 July after an elevating platform failed to ascend to the stage.

The South China Morning Post reports that contractor Hip Hing Loong Stage Engineering Company (HHLSEC) was fined HK$420,000 (€49.350) by a magistrate at Kowloon City Court last week after admitting six counts of failing to ensure the safety of their employees, failing to ensure that devices were safe and failing to notify authorities of accidents.

Two other firms, main contractor Engineering Impact and the Studiodanz Company, were fined $220,000 and $132,000, respectively, last November.

In mitigation for HHLSEC, Kelvin Lai Kin-wah told the court the accident was “extremely unfortunate” and the company, which had worked on thousands of events, expressed “extreme remorse”.

However, acting principal magistrate David Ko Wai-hung said Hip Hing Loong was critical of the firm’s practice of only carrying out visual inspections of suspended stage installations, stressing that it  had an “unshirkable responsibility” to ensure the system could bear the weight of the LED screen.

“As stage designs become more innovative and complicated, the greater the need for professionals to supervise and manage the equipment”

“I would call this an industry loophole,” he said. “Just because it has not happened before, does not mean it will not happen in the future. As stage designs become more innovative and complicated, the greater the need for professionals to supervise and manage the equipment, instead of just relying on experience.”

In its official report released last year, a government task force concluded a wire rope tied to the LED panel snapped due to “metal fatigue”.

It stated: “The causes include (1) inferior conditions of the rope, with the breaking strength of the wire rope being lower than the lowest breaking strength of a normal one; (2) the actual weight of the LED panel being much heavier than what was reported; (3) a problematic winch installation system making the rope guard difficult to rotate, causing damage to the rope surface and inducing extra load on the rope, leading to plastic deformation; and (4) poor workmanship on the assembly and installation of the LED panel suspension system.”

Engineering Impact pleaded guilty last year to four offences, including failing to ensure that devices were safe, failing to notify the occupational safety officer of a serious accident within 24 hours and failing to give notice of an accident. Studiodanz admitted five offences, including failing to ensure the health and safety of employees, failing to give notice of accidents to employees and failing to provide them insurance coverage.

The performance by Mirror was part of a planned 12-concert run by the 12-member group. The remaining shows in the series were cancelled.

Mirror, who formed in 2018, launched their Feel The Passion Tour last week, starting off 16 shows at Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld Arena between 15 January and 3 February. They will then visit the UK in March for shows at The O2 in London and Manchester’s AO Arena, with dates to follow in Macau, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Toronto.

 


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