A 70-year-old man who was hit in the head with a brick during a clash with masked protesters has died from his injury, the Prince of Wales Hospital said on Thursday.

The man was left in a critical condition after he was struck on the head in Sheung Shui on Wednesday. He was an outsourced worker for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department who was on his lunch break, according to the government.

man died brick
Photo: HK01 screenshot.

Aerial footage of the incident appeared to show two groups throwing rocks at each other. The man was seen walking slowly towards the front of the conflict before he was struck down by an object. He did not appear to be throwing anything at the time of the incident.

The case will be referred to the coroner’s court to determine the cause of death.

The government said in a statement released on Friday that it was saddened by the incident and that police will work to bring offenders to justice. It added that it was in contact with the man’s family members.

prince wales hospital
Prince Wales Hospital. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

“Masked rioters conducted extremely dangerous and violent acts in various districts three days in a row, where they wantonly assaulted other members of the public. The acts are outrageous,” the statement read. “The HKSAR Government appeals to members of the public to stay calm and rational as well as to stay away from violence to safeguard personal safety.”

Hong Kong has been shaken by four consecutive days of citywide unrest, initially part of an effort to mobilise a mass strike. The escalation follows 24 weeks of demonstrations sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill which would have enabled fugitive transfers to mainland China. The protests have since morphed into wider demands for democratic reform and police accountability.

Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.