Hongkongers are mourning firefighter Yau Siu-ming, who died on Wednesday after he fell off a cliff while attempting to rescue a pair of hikers stuck overnight on Ma On Shan.

On Thursday morning, Hongkongers delivered messages to Yau and his family in a book of condolences at Tin Sum Fire Station in Tai Wai.

Chief executive Leung Chun-ying went to the station to bid farewell to the 51-year-old firefighter, as did leadership candidates Carrie Lam and John Tsang.

In the afternoon, Yau’s colleagues and family held a Taoist ceremony on Ma On Shan, near the location where he passed away. He leaves behind a six-year-old son.

Yau served the Fire Services Department for 30 years. Local media reported that he was involved in putting out the Ngau Tau Kok industrial building blaze last June, which burnt for 108 hours and took the lives of two of his colleagues.

The Fire Services Department headquarters in Tsim Sha Tsui flew its departmental flag at half-mast on Thursday.

The Welfare Section of the Fire Services Department has set up a public fundraiser to support Yau’s family. Former professional cyclist Ho Siu-lun, a friend of Yau’s, is also fundraising for the family.

Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.