Police have arrested five people in relation to a freak accident at a concert by Hong Kong boy band Mirror, local media have reported citing sources. Two dancers were injured in July when a giant screen fell onto the stage. Those arrested included workers for the main contractor and subcontracted production companies.

Four men and one woman were reportedly taken away from their homes by police in the early hours on Friday. They were apprehended on suspicion of fraud and allowing objects to fall. HKFP has contacted the police for comment.

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An advertisement for popular boy band Mirror outside the Hong Kong Coliseum. Photo: Lea Mok/HKFP.

The five reportedly included the executive producer, project manager and stage engineer of main contractor Engineering Impact Limited and subcontractor Hip Hing Loong Stage Engineering Company Limited.

Several contractors previously issued statements distancing themselves from any responsibility for certain parts of the stage installation and engineering. Authorities initially said that two steel cables attached to a large video screen had broken, leading to the horrific accident.

Mirror concert accident

On July 28, a giant video screen weighing 9,852 pounds or 4,469 kilograms fell from height during Mirror’s concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum, hitting two dancers on stage. One of them, Mo Li Kai-yin, suffered serious injuries to his neck and has since undergone at least two surgeries. He later regained consciousness but remains hospitalised.

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Concert organisers Music Nation and MakerVille then announced that the remaining shows would be cancelled. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), which manages the venue, also said that suspended installations for upcoming events would be temporarily barred.

Government probe

The government swiftly set up a multi-departmental task force to investigate the incident, with Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism Kevin Yeung saying an initial probe would be completed in two weeks’ time.

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​The Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Kevin Yeung meet the press on July 29, 2022, after a giant screen falls on stage during the concert by Hong Kong boy band Mirror. Photo: Lea Mok/HKFP

About a month into the investigation in late August, authorities revealed that the wire that snapped, causing the hanging screen to plummet, showed signs of “fatigue” and had been improperly installed. The wire’s load was also understated. However, the government has yet to release more updates or present its findings in detail since then, adding that it was too early to jump to a conclusion as to who should be held accountable.

On Thursday, local media cited sources saying that the task force had completed the investigation and would hold a press conference on Friday to announce its report. The arrests occurred hours later.

The incident, considered one of the most serious accidents in Hong Kong’s performing arts industry, sparked debate regarding the labour rights of dancers, including fears that they were considered self-employed and would not be covered by the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance. The Labour Department earlier said it would help the dancers to figure out their employment status.

Clarification 17:30: An earlier version of this article stated that the screen that fell weighed around 500 kilograms, based on comments made in August by a member of the government task force that investigated the incident. That understated the weight of the screen quite significantly. Its correct weight was 9,852 pounds or 4,469 kilograms, the police confirmed.

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Almond Li is a Hong Kong-based journalist who previously worked for Reuters and Happs TV as a freelancer, and as a reporter at Hong Kong International Business Channel, Citizen News and Commercial Radio Hong Kong. She earned her Masters in Journalism at the University of Southern California. She has an interest in LGBT+, mental health and environmental issues.