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National Day fireworks stir painful memories of Hong Kong ferry crash for families

Hong KongSociety

Return of National Day fireworks stirs painful memories of 2012 Lamma ferry disaster for Hong Kong families of victims, as long-awaited inquest looms

‘My wife drowned while on her way to see the fireworks 11 years ago. How can I enjoy fireworks on the same day?’ a victim’s husband saysAfter more than 10 years of searching for answers, families of victims say they saw the most progress over past year, with coroner’s inquest bid approved by High CourtAccidents and personal safety in Hong KongNatalie WongPublished: 2:00pm, 1 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

For dozens of Hong Kong families, news of the return of National Day fireworks after a five-year break was not a cause for celebration but instead a painful reminder of the loss and grief they had endured.

“My wife drowned while on her way to see the fireworks 11 years ago. How can I enjoy fireworks on the same day?” Wong Tai-wah, 71, said.

Wong is among those who lost loved ones in one of Hong Kong’s deadliest maritime disasters in history, which claimed 39 lives on October 1, 2012, when two passenger vessels collided off Lamma Island, plunging more than 120 people into the frigid, dark waters.

The Lamma IV had set out to view the fireworks display with 124 passengers on board when it was struck on the port side by the Sea Smooth, operated by Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry. While the damaged Sea Smooth continued on to Yung Shue Wan, the other vessel sank within minutes.

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