The Amoycan Industrial Centre in Ngau Tau Kok caught on fire on 21 June 2016. It is Hong Kong’s longest-burning incident in last two decades, and has claimed the lives of two firemen. In spite of heavy harmful smoke caused by the fire, the Hong Kong government failed to take any effective emergency measure to evacuate the nearby neighborhoods. The Environmental Protection Department has neither immediately measured the air quality on site nor publicized the measurement instantly.
The only concrete air quality information available for the public came from Clean Air Network. We had gone on site and spotted that the PM 2.5 concentration level as close to 3000µg/m3, which was 40 times the standard of World Health Organisation. Owing to government’s failure to immediately announce this public health hazard, citizens nearby could only rely on their common sense whether to evacuate or not.
CAN has formed a concern group to closely follow up this issue, and has made an appeal to the Legislative Council together with the residents. However, no response has been made from the council even today. CAN strongly urges the government to publicize the air quality measurement made by EPD and assess the impact on public health caused by air pollution during the fire. The government should also set up an emergency response system in order to decrease harm for citizens’ health in the future should any similar accident happens.