Three people linked to a freak accident at a concert by popular Hong Kong boyband Mirror have been charged with conspiracy to defraud.

Mirror concert Hong Kong Coliseum screen
A task force led by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to identify the cause of an accident at Hong Kong Coliseum (HKC), suggest and follow up on recommendations, held its first meeting today (August 1) at HKC. Photo shows the task force conducting an on-site inspection at the arena of the Hong Kong Coliseum. Photo: GovHK.

Last July, a giant screen fell onto dancers on the stage at the Hong Kong Coliseum.

A woman and two men aged between 41 and 60 will appear in court in February, police said on Friday. Local media reported that they are employed by Engineering Impact Limited – the main contractor for the concert.

Police said earlier that the contractor had “deliberately” understated the weight of the suspended equipment that fell and crushed two dancers on stage. One of the dancers, Mo Li Kai-yin, suffered serious injuries to his neck and was left at risk of permanent paralysis. He is still being treated in hospital, according to local media.

mirror Hong Kong Coliseum
Photo: Lea Mok/HKFP

The Mirror concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum – tickets for which were in high demand – were subsequently cancelled. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) also said it would bar suspended installations at upcoming events.

‘False declarations’

The trio were among five apprehended in November on suspicion of fraud and allowing objects to fall. Their arrests followed the release of an investigative report by a government taskforce probing the accident.

The five included employees with Engineering Impact Limited and subcontractor Hip Hing Loong Stage Engineering Company Limited, according to local media.

Police said on Friday that the other two people had been released unconditionally.

Mirror concert
Hong Kong boy group Mirror. Photo: Mirror, via Facebook.

Announcing the findings of the investigation in November, police said it was believed that Engineering Impact Limited purposefully made a false declaration so that it could secure a permit from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to ensure that the series of 12 shows went ahead as scheduled.

“The real weights of these mechanical devices were totally different from the data that was given by the company – by Engineering Impact. So we were of the view that they made false declaration deliberately, with the view to speed up the approval process for the show,” Superintendent of Police Alan Chung said.

YouTube video

The biggest discrepancy between the actual weight of the equipment and the declared data was more than seven times, police said.

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Hillary has an interest in social issues and politics. Previously, she reported on Asia broadly - including on Hong Kong's 2019 protests - for TIME Magazine and covered local news at Coconuts Hong Kong.