Clues hunt in deadly tofu factory blast

Top News | Hilary Wong 22 Oct 2013

One worker was killed and four others injured when a cauldron used for steaming in a tofu factory at Kam Tin exploded yesterday afternoon.

The five were working in the Ching Yuen Bean Curd Factory, on Kam Sheung Road, when the cauldron exploded, bringing down the roof.

The factory has been running for more than 30 years and has 20 workers, according to the Fire Services Department.

The report on the explosion was received at around 1pm and firefighters were at the scene within two minutes, said North District divisional officer Lau Wai-kwong.

He said 10 fire engines, five ambulances and 61 firefighters were deployed.

The man killed was a migrant worker, Lee Yik- sheng, 39, who had been in Hong Kong for five years. He previously worked for two years at a bean curd factory in the mainland.

Another migrant worker, surnamed Pang, was admitted to Tuen Mun Hospital in a serious condition with head and body injuries. The other three, including one local worker surnamed Cheng, 29, were sent to Pok Oi Hospital in Yuen Long, where they were treated and discharged.

Lau said the factory, in Kam Tin's Sheung Tsuen, measured about 600 square meters and contained two stoves - one using diesel and the other burning wood. The cauldron on the stove burning wood exploded.

The department is still investigating the cause of the explosion though it is suspected that it could be due to excessive heat.

Some iron sheeting, cans and other debris were hurled 10 meters into the air by the explosion.

A car owner said he even found ash on his vehicle parked 100 meters away.

A villager living in Sheung Tsuen said the explosion "was like an earthquake."

She said she ran home as quickly as she could for safety.

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