A group of Filipino tourists were left stranded for hours after the windshield of their tour bus was shattered by strong winds as they headed to the airport during the height of typhoon Mangkhut on Sunday.
At 10am when Typhoon Mangkhut had just hit the city, 36 Filipinos, including two children and three senior citizens, boarded a tour bus at the Winland Hotel 888 in Tsing Yi and headed for Hong Kong International Airport, the sunwebhk.com reported.
When the bus approached the Tsing Ma Bridge, strong winds shattered the windshield and forced it to stop. Instead of trying to find a way to get the passengers to safety, the tour escort allegedly kept them on the bus for hours until some managed to contact the consulate late in the afternoon.
Danny Baldon of the consulate’s assistance to nationals section said they called the police emergency hotline and asked them to rescue the group. Baldon said the bus driver offered no credible explanation as to why he did not seek help immediately and why he insisted on taking them to the airport despite the strongest typhoon signal in the territory.
The Philippine Consulate will lodge a complaint with Hong Kong’s Travel Industry Council about the incident.
Meanwhile, a Filipina tourist was sent to hospital after being injured by flying objects in Tsim Sha Tsui on Sunday.
The Filipina, a dentist, was visiting Hong Kong and went out to buy coffee at a 7-11 store at the height of the storm on Sunday and was injured by a flying object near Mirador Mansion, the sunwebhk.com reported.
She was unconscious and bloodied with injuries to her arms and legs. She was sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Jordan and had emergency surgery. Baldon from the consulate said there had been false information on social media on Sunday saying the woman had been hit by a falling air-conditioner and died.
A picture of the victim, which showed her unconscious and bloodied, was uploaded on Facebook and went viral early on Sunday. Baldon said the tourist was from Cotabato and would likely stay in the hospital for a few days.