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Friday, July 22, 2016, 17:33

Fireman laid to rest with full honors

Fireman laid to rest with full honors
The hearse is seen outside Kwun Tong Fire Station ahead of the burial of deceased fireman Samuel Hui Chi-kit at Gallant Garden, Kwun Tong on July 22, 2016. (Roy Liu / China Daily)

HONG KONG - Hong Kong people – including top government officials, disciplined service chiefs, and political and business heavyweights – braved the hot weather Friday morning to pay their final salute to the second fireman who died when fighting the fatal blaze in an industrial building in Ngau Tau Kok last month.

Senior fire officer Samuel Hui Chi-kit, 37, was laid to rest in the Gallant Garden at Wo Hop Shek Cemetery, in which civil servants who lost their lives in the line of duty are buried.

The other fallen fireman, Senior Station Officer Thomas Cheung Yiu-sing, 30, was mourned by the public on July 16.

Dressed in dark attire, major officials including Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Director of Fire Services Lai Man-hin, gathered at the Universal Funeral Parlour in Hung Hom to attend the full-honor funeral and pay their respect to the deceased hero.

Dozens of members of the public also gathered nearby the entrance of the mortuary to pay their final respect.

After the official memorial, six of Hui's colleagues carried his casket covered by the Hong Kong SAR flag and accompanied by the helmet he was wearing, and placed it on a fire engine which was converted into a hearse.

Escorted by a motorcade, the hearse arrived at the site of the blaze – the Amoycan Industrial Centre – for a roadside wreath-laying ceremony. Hundreds of people gathered along the road and on a nearby footbridge to pay tribute to Hui as the hearse passed by.

Later the motorcade proceeded to the Kwun Tong Fire Station where Hui worked before his death. Hui's colleagues gave their final salute before the hearse headed to the Gallant Garden. Hui's wife and 7-year-old son bid farewell to their loved one before the burying ceremony.

Hui was buried shoulder to shoulder with Thomas Cheung.

Both Hui and Cheung were found unconscious by their teammates on the building’s third floor after conducting inspections in the fire ground and died after being sent to the hospital.

The Hong Kong government earlier awarded the two heroes gold medals for bravery and also granted HK$4.86 million to Cheung’s family and HK$4.5 million to Hui’s in recognition of their sacrifice.

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