A marine police officer died when a mobile crane which may have been incorrectly operated toppled on to him, an inquest heard yesterday.
Kwong Wing-fat, 38, died after becoming trapped under the machine on March 27 last year at Sai Wan Ho marine police station.
Poon Chi-chung, who was an assistant divisional commander at the station, told the Coroner’s Court that station sergeant Tse Long-sang was operating the mobile crane to lift a sampan when the machine toppled.
Another officer, Fung Kam-chuen, recalled the details of the incident, saying: “The sergeant was trying to extend the boom of the crane. Then the boom suddenly tottered and I shouted out to warn them of the danger.
“I immediately jumped into the sea. I didn’t know that someone was injured until I got out of the water.”
Neither officer recalled seeing Sergeant Tse extend the crane’s stabilising outriggers.
Service engineer Tang Kwai-wing, from Tadano South China Ltd, told the court that a five-day training course was offered to all officers in August 1997 when the crane was delivered.
“During the course, we always taught the officers to extend the outriggers. If the machine had been operated properly, even if there was an overload, the computer operating the system would have stopped and locked up all the functions. There would never have been any accident,” Mr Tang said.
The court heard that Sergeant Tse had a licence issued by the Construction Industrial Training Authority to use the crane.
The inquest continues today before coroner Paul Kelly.