Hunt for petrol bomb hurlers after van burns at police club

Top News | Erin Chan 2 Dec 2020

Police are searching for three people suspected of hurling nine petrol bombs into the parking lot of the Police Sports and Recreation Club in Mong Kok that set a stationed van on fire yesterday.

An 18-year-old Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education student in possession of a pepper spray canister was arrested in Sham Shui Po when officers combed the area, but initial investigation showed he had nothing to do with the arson case.

At around 1am, three men hurled nine petrol bombs into the club parking lot which set ablaze a vehicle used to deliver police supplies parked on a Tai Hang Tung-bound trail next to the parking lot on Sai Yeung Street in Prince Edward.

The truck was engulfed in fire, with its front badly burned. Police and fire officers arrived shortly after 1.13am as smoke billowed from the truck and a boom was heard.

When the fire was put out, the front of the vehicle was badly damaged, with the whole windscreen melted. Scorch marks covered the vehicle.

As seen in the security footage, the three were masked, with one wearing a white windbreaker, black shorts and carrying a black backpack.

Another person was dressed similarly but wore a black cap. The third wore a light-colored top and carried a shoulder bag. The three then fled the scene via Tai Po Road.

A witness, Chin, said the boom woke her up from sleep.

"I heard several police officers shouting 'cordon off the area" downstairs," she said. "There was a burned smell."

She recalled that firefighters soon arrived and spent several minutes breaking the gate of the parking lot open.

Nobody was hurt. The case is being investigated by the Crime Kowloon West Headquarters.

When officers searched the area for the three suspects, they found the teen student with the canister on Fuk Wing Street. He was arrested for possession of a weapon.

A series of petrol bomb attacks struck the city during the anti-government protest movement last year.

Yesterday, six people had their conspiracy to arson charges - over suspected raw materials for making petrol bombs found inside a Wan Chai flat - amended.

The six - e-Sports player Cheung Ho-fai, clerk Chan Tsz-bun, clerk So Mei-lei, Wu Hoi-fu, student Lee Ying-lei and jobless Sham Cheuk-kan - saw their charge changed to "conspiracy to riot" with an alternative charge of "unlawful assembly."

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