A rubbish bin at the demonstration area outside the Legislative Council building was set on fire on Wednesday night, causing a small explosion.

The incident occurred after a planned rally against the new copyright bill was cancelled. Two men are wanted by the police.

The exploded bin.
The bin after the explosion. Photo: Gov HK, Facebook.

A burnt gas cannister was found near the rubbish bin after the explosion. No one was injured when the incident occurred at around 8:30pm.

A rally had been scheduled to take place in the area at 7pm, when the debate on the new copyright bill – dubbed as “Internet Article 23” – was supposed to be taking place. However, the meeting had been unexpectedly adjourned earlier in the day.

Mr Cheung, a witness, told local media that he saw four to five people dressed in black clothing with face masks near the site before the explosion happened. They pushed down a barricade in the demonstration area, and left towards the MTR station shortly before it went off.

Firefighters arrived to investigate shortly after.

YouTube video

The police said that “two men came close to the bin, set fire to a substance and threw it in the bin. The bin then caught fire and exploded. The two men then left through Tamar Park.”

They said they believed the explosive device was a modified gas canister. Some parts of the incident were captured by LegCo security cameras.

The two men seen fleeing the scene were each 1.7-metre-tall and of slim build. One was wearing a mask and a dark-coloured jacket, black trousers and a black backpack. The other also wore a mask, a light-coloured jacket and dark-coloured trousers, the police added.

Police condemned the “violent act” and said they would not tolerate it, and would enforce the law fairly. The case is being investigated as arson.

Some barricades were found pushed down.
Some barricades were found pushed down. Photo: Facebook.

The chairman of the Legislative Council Commission Jasper Tsang expressed “grave concern about, and condemns, the dangerous act which could cause bodily harm.”

Tsang urged law enforcement agencies to take prompt and decisive action to arrest the culprits and bring them to justice.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.