Three hurt in bleach attacks at butchers

Local | Jane Cheung 12 Jul 2018

Three employees and a passer-by were injured yesterday in a spate of bleach attacks targeting Kai Bo Food Supermarket.

The spate of attacks occurred at three meat counters operated by the chain.

The first incident occurred on Po Kong Village Road in San Po Kong at 1.17pm, when a man poured bleach onto meat on display before fleeing.

A female shop keeper, surnamed Choi, called in the police.

She told officers the culprit was 1.8 meters tall and wore a baseball cap.

Officers later found a cap and paper cup in a rubbish bin 100 meters away from the store.

At 1.20pm, a man in a baseball cap spilled bleach at another Kai Bo store on Yuk Wah Crescent in Tsz Wan Shan, injuring two shopkeepers, surnamed Hung and Cheng, and a passer-by before fleeing.

An employee at a neighboring store alerted police, while the trio tended to their injuries with water.

The two shopkeepers, aged 41 and 25, sustained red patches on their neck and hands, and were sent to the hospital.

But the passer-by refused medical help and left prior to paramedics arriving.

Since the bleach was also spilled onto meat, the store was forced to dispose of it, resulting in a HK$3,000 loss.

And five minutes later at 1.25pm, a store on Broadway in Mei Foo reported a similar attack, in which a 60-year-old member of staff, surnamed Wong, sustained eye and chest injuries.

The case has been classified as criminal damage and assault, with officers believing the attacks were planned.

Police are hunting for suspects and investigating the motives behind the attacks.

Chung Chin-hung, former head of accident and emergency at North District Hospital, said bleach is an alkali and corrosive liquid that can cause chemical burns upon contact with skin.

He said the damage inflicted depends on the concentration level of the bleach, along with the area it comes into contact with, and how long it remains on the skin.

Alkalis tend to be more harmful than acids since it penetrates deeper under the skin, he said. Chung advised bleach attack victims to wash the affected area with plenty of water for 15 to 30 minutes in order to dilute the chemical.

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