A coach carrying 44 tourists from the mainland crashed into a Chinese chiropractor’s clinic in Rua da Entena near Kiang Wu Hospital, injuring 32 of them, including a 46-year-old woman who sustained life-threatening injuries and was still being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital on Monday’s evening.
Among the injured, two other women, aged 42 and 63 respectively, were in serious condition and were also being treated in the ICU of the private hospital while six other tourists on the coach were required to stay in hospital overnight.
The remainder left hospital after out-patient treatment, according to a government statement late last night.
Lai Kai Seng, who heads Kiang Wu Hospital’s emergency service, explained the patients’ conditions during a press conference at Government Headquarters.
The 32 tourists, comprising 12 males and 20 females aged between seven and 78, were injured while another 10 tourists, the tour guide and the driver escaped injury.
According to a statement released by the Public Security Police, 31 of the victims were taken to Kiang Wu Hospital while one victim who was slightly injured was taken to the public Conde de S. Januario Hospital Centre.
The accident happened at about 2:40 p.m. while the coach was parked in the street close to Rua de Tomás Vieira after the tourists had got back onto the bus, following a visit to the Ruins of St Paul’s.
According to preliminary investigations, a handbrake failure could have caused the coach to roll into the side of the six-storey residential building.
According to a police source at the scene, the driver passed a breathalyser.
The driver told reporters at the scene that he got off his coach to check after realising that it had been hit in the rear by the van, adding that he had put the handbrake on before getting off the coach, which he had parked on a slope.
The tourists were from different mainland provinces who had joined a tour group in Shenzhen, adding that those that were not injured had already returned to the mainland.
According to the government, the building’s main pillar burst in the wake of the crash. Officials said they could not say when the 21 evacuated families living in the building would be allowed to return home, or whether the building was still safe for habitation or not.
The families were gradually evacuated shortly after the accident. The badly-damaged ground-floor clinic has been closed.
According to a statement by the Government Spokespersons Office, Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On visited the victims in Kiang Wu Hospital in the evening. Chui was also briefed on the accident by officials from various entities, the statement said, adding that the government would provide all necessary support to the injured tourists and affected residents. (Macau News / The Macau Post Daily)