CHOW Sang Sang Jewellery Company, which lost 22 employees on
the 15th floor of the Garley Building, increased its relief
fund to $8 million last night.
Each victim's family will receive an initial $180,000 tomorrow.
Another sum, equivalent to 17.8 months' basic salary, will be
given to victims' families on January 31, the company announced.
Deputy general manager Vincent Chow said: " Everyone in the
company is deeply depressed to have lost a group of valuable
colleagues. We feel strongly about providing support to the
families of our unfortunate colleagues."
Meanwhile the Government last night announced families are to
receive emergency cash payments of $5,000 each to ease any immediate
Senior officials met relatives for several hours last night
to outline practical measures in the aftermath of the fire.
Afterwards Home Affairs Director Shelley Lau Lee Lai-kuen said
arrangements were being made for families to each be given five
minutes at the Pilkem Street site tonight to pay their respects.
She said they had also discussed the pressing issue of identification
of bodies and how the Government was trying to speed up the
Ms Lau said initial criticism about delays was understandable
given the " emotional state" of loved ones seeking the return
of bodies for burial.
She stressed police were using the most sophisticated techniques,
including DNA profiling, to get the quickest possible results.
But she added that " it may take several weeks" in many difficult
According to Ms Lau, the Urban and Regional councils had suggested
a " communal cremation" of remains which proved unidentifiable,
with the ashes to be shared among families.
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