One of the two dancers injured during a concert by popular Hong Kong boy band Mirror on Thursday night remains in a serious condition, after online footage showed him – and a fellow performer – being hit by a large falling screen.
Organisers announced they will axe the remaining concerts in the 12-show run following a government intervention.
A male dancer was sent to the intensive care unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital after he was injured at the Hong Kong Coliseum on the fourth night of Cantopop group Mirror’s concert series, the Hospital Authority told HKFP in the early hours of Friday. Another dancer remains in a stable condition.
The accident, which left at least five injured, happened at around 10.35 p.m. on Thursday, when a giant television screen hanging metres above the stage suddenly fell down and hit at least two dancers, audience footage widely circulated online showed.
Internet footage appeared to show that the falling screen landed on a dancer’s body and head, before it tilted and hit another dancer. The two performers were sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment, police said, while three female audience members said they were scared and one was hospitalised.
The show was halted after the accident. Mirror manager Ahfa Wong announced on stage that there had been a “large-scale accident,” urging fans to leave the venue in an orderly manner, internet footage showed. She also bowed and apologised to those who came to the show, saying issues surrounding tickets would be handled later.
Concert organisers Music Nation and MakerVille apologised publicly four hours after the accident and said the remaining shows would be cancelled. They said they would “fully investigate” the cause of the accident and make an announcement as soon as possible.
“Regarding the discomfort caused to the audiences and other people affected, we feel deeply sorry,” a joint statement from the concert organisers read, adding they would announce ticket refund arrangements as soon as possible.
Many Hongkongers shared photos of a black screen on social media, saying they hoped the injured dancers could pull through. Others criticised the concert organisers as “having no regards for safety.”
Hong Kong leader ‘shocked’
The concert cancellation came a few hours after the government said it instructed the show to be halted “until the structure of the stage is proved to be safe.” Chief Executive John Lee expressed “shock” at the incident, saying he had contacted Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung and instructed the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and other relevant units to fully investigate the incident, as well as review the safety requirements for similar performances.
“[I] offer my condolences to the injured, wishing them a speedy recovery,” Lee said.
Yeung expressed “grave concern” over the accident, saying he asked the LCSD to form a task force led by an Assistant Director to work with other parties to investigate.
He added that the LCSD and the Labour Department had contacted the concert organisers on Wednesday asking about stage incidents over the recent few days, and demanded the organiser make improvements.
The long-anticipated Mirror show at Hong Kong Coliseum, often described as a “dream” performing arena for many local singers, was marred by safety incidents concerning Mirror members and their dancers in the days leading up to Thursday’s accident.
According to local media reports, a dancer was injured during a rehearsal, prompting some fellow performers to vent their discontent on social media.
During the debut show of the concert series on Monday night, Mirror member Anson Kong appeared to lose his balance slightly while dancing on a raised platform. Another member Frankie Chan stepped off the edge of an elevated stage on Tuesday evening when he was delivering a speech. His fall prompted some Mirror fans to launch an online petition to call attention to safety issues surrounding the concert.
‘Serious industrial accident’
In a statement released a few hours after the accident, the Hong Kong Theatre Arts Practitioners Union described the incident as a “serious industrial accident.” Police, the Labour Department and other relevant authorities must launch a probe, the group said, adding the concert organiser Music Nation and talent management company MakerVille should openly explain whether the injured dancers would receive the “protection they deserved.”
The union also called on all engineering companies and stakeholders involved in the show to explain how the accident happened, and whether the stage devices and special effects were up to safety standards.
“We hope each and every sector will work together to prevent similar accidents from happening again. We hope each and every dancer can deliver their best performance under the most professional and reliable protection,” the union wrote on Facebook.
The Hong Kong Red Cross activated their “Shall We Talk” hotline, providing emotional support to witnesses. It is available on WhatsApp +852 5164 5040, or Telegram at @hkrcshallwetalk.
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