Twenty-one people have died and 20 others are injured after a double-decker bus crashed through a guardrail and down a hill off Tuen Mun Road near Ting Kau Bridge.
The KMB bus was headed towards Tuen Mun on Route 265M when the incident occurred at about 6.30 this morning. It reportedly collided with a container truck.
The Police have set up three hotlines for members of the public to make enquiries: 1878 999, 2640 5422 and 2631 9461.
The injured, 10 men and 10 women who range in age from 9 to 54 years, were rushed to Yan Chai Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, Tuen Mun Hospital and Caritas Medical Centre.
Most victims in serious condition
Three of them - two men, aged 32 and 51, and a woman - are in critical condition.
Thirteen people, including six men and seven women, aged 24 to 54, are in serious condition. A nine-year-old girl is in stable condition in Princess Margaret Hospital. One woman and two men are also in stable condition.
The Home Affairs Department has also set up hotlines at the hospitals for enquiries from the public:
* Caritas Medical Centre - 2307 1254;
* Princess Margaret Hospital - 2990 1210;
* Tuen Mun Hospital - 2468 6103; and
* Yan Chai Hospital - 2439 0297.
The Social Welfare Department has also set up a hotline, 2892 5202, to provide counselling and financial support to those affected.
Chief Executive sends his condolences
Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa was shocked and greatly saddened by the crash.
"This has been devastating, a very painful accident for all of us. So first I want to extend to the families, whose beloved ones have been lost or hurt, our deepest concern and condolences. I have asked the Government departments to do whatever we can to help them," Mr Tung said after visiting survivors at Princess Margaret Hospital.
Secretary for the Environment, Transport & Works Dr Sarah Liao said the incident was shocking and regrettable. "I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the friends and relatives of those who are injured. We will give every assistance we can," she said.
She added that the Government would do a thorough investigation and that a comprehensive proposal for enhancing Tuen Mun Road was planned.
Secretary for Education and Manpower Professor Arthur K C Li also extended his deepest condolences to family members of all the school staff and students killed and injured.
"I am saddened by reports that the accident has so far claimed the lives of three school staff and injured 10 others as well as another nine-year-old school girl," he said.
Educational psychologists and school development officers of the bureau have maintained close contact with the schools concerned to assist them in providing counseling services for staff and students.
Container truck driver arrested
The 53-year-old driver of the container truck involved in this morning's incident has been arrested for dangerous driving.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Bonnie Smith said witness reports and forensic evidence from the scene are strong enough to arrest the driver and he is likely to be charged.
However, Mrs Smith appealed for more information and urged witnesses to call the Police 24-hour hotline 2611 3200.
"If any member of the public passed that place at that time or can give us any further information, please call," she said.
KMB's Route 265M plies the circuit from Lai Yiu Estate in Ha Kwai Chung, through Tsuen Wan to Ting Heng Estate in Tin Shui Wai.
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