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Collision investigation

Collision investigation:  Chief Secretary Carrie Lam briefs the media on the establishment, and terms of reference, of a commission of inquiry for the Lamma Island ferry tragedy.

Ferry crash inquiry commission terms set

October 09, 2012
Chief Secretary Carrie Lam says today the Executive Council has approved in principle the setting up of a commission of inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Ordinance.
Briefing the media today, Mrs Lam said the commission will inquire into the facts and circumstances leading to and surrounding the collision of two vessels that took place near Lamma Island on October 1.
It will ascertain the causes of the incident and make appropriate findings, and consider and evaluate the general conditions of maritime safety concerning passenger vessels in Hong Kong, and the adequacy of the present control system.

It will also make recommendations on measures required to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in future. It will not decide who has criminal or civil liability.
Mrs Lam said the law enforcement agencies' investigation will continue, and the commission may ask for information or reports to facilitate hearings. It may also summon people to testify.
"The commission of inquiry, which is independent, with these broad terms of reference, is in fact more relevant and appropriate in this tragic incident than maritime court," she added.
Mrs Lam said ExCo may appoint one or more people as commission members, but generally such commissions have few members. The Government is actively identifying highly credible people to appoint to the commission.
"Once they have been identified, the Executive Council will formally appoint the setting up of this commission of inquiry," she added.
The commission is expected to report to the Chief Executive within six months from the date of appointment, and it may also submit interim reports.
Mrs Lam said the 39 who died in the crash came from 32 families. The Social Welfare Department’s staff are providing counseling and assistance in burial arrangements. As some families may have financial difficulties, the Government will provide assistance through the Community Care Fund.

AFF 2013