7-yr-old Tuen Mun school girl injured by falling hammer

Updated: 2009-12-03 07:40

By Joy Lu(HK Edition)

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HONG KONG: A 7-year-old girl was hospitalized with head injuries yesterday after she was struck by a 6-inch-long hammer falling from a height. The incident took place yesterday as the girl was walking to school through a public estate in Tuen Mun. She was not seriously injured.

The incident occurred at about 8:15 am at a pavement outside the Ting Lung House, On Ting Estate. The girl who lives in the nearby Yau Oi Estate was walking the route she takes almost daily to T.W.G.Hs. Tang Shiu Kin Primary School. The injured girl was taken to Tuen Mun Hospital for treatment.

Representatives from the school visited her in hospital. Li Hon Kwong, the school headmaster, told reporters later that the girl was not seriously injured.

"She received sutures but will be discharged soon," he said.

Li complained that the school, some 50 meters away from where the hammer was dropped, suffers falling-object incidents from time to time.

"We will urge parents and children to stay alert and walk in safe places," he said.

Police officers carried out a door-to-door investigation at Ting Lung House, without apparent success.

The Housing Department said the On Ting Estate has not been a black spot for falling objects. Two cases were reported this year and both objects were toys. No tenants were arrested or given penalty points. Families whose penalty points reach a cumulative total of 16 at the estate are evicted.

The department said an inspector will be stationed at the estate in order to try to catch the offender. In the past, a surveillance team visited the estate twice a month.

The city's concrete jungle seems to be fighting an uphill battle against objects dropped from high-rises.

Between 2007 and September 2009, the police received 3,001 such reports, including 335 at public estates. More than 200 people were injured as a result each year, Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng disclosed in the Legislative Council last week.

Most of the cases were not solved: 885 persons were arrested on suspicion of dropping the objects. Among them, 289 were convicted.

Viewing surveillance camera footage and door-to-door information collection have been the main methods by which police investigate complaints.

(HK Edition 12/03/2009 page1)