On February 10, 2018, at the scene of the deadly traffic accident on Tai Po Road, a female news reporter could be heard during a live news broadcast saying “Sir! Sir! We have just gone live! Can you give us 3 minutes?” It was later revealed online that the female reporter in question is TVB’s Liu Cheuk Yi.
The TVB News Team published a statement on February 11, claiming that their reporter was in no way at the time obstructing the rescue efforts. They noted that the emergency crews had rescued all the injured from inside the bus by 7:45pm. The statement mentioned that, at that time, the police had notified the media that the bus would be lifted up by the Fire and Rescue team, and in case of possible danger to everyone at the scene, had requested that the press move away from their designated area. At the end, the statement said “in the end, it was a few hours later that the Fire and Rescue began lifting up the bus, thus in no way and at any time did TVB’s news crew hinder the rescue efforts”.
Upon the release of TVB’s statement, in addition to having Hong Kong netizens criticising the TV station refusing an apology, others were questioning the sequence of events as alleged by TVB.
According to the TVB News’ official website, at 19:48 the headline was “[At the scene] Tai Po bus overturned killing 19 people. Sources at the scene say 3 are still inside the bus”. By 20:34, there was another report with the headline “[At the scene] Police say 3 people still stuck under overturned bus. Fire and Rescue will lift up bus to free them”. Liu Cheuk Yi herself was responsible for the second report, and at the time she indicated that “the police have just announced that they have discovered 3 more injured under the bus”.
In actuality, around 8pm that evening, TVB Jade interrupted regular programming with a “Special News Broadcast”, during which their reporter John Sin also mentioned that “preliminary news has it that three people are still trapped inside the bus, but no sign of life so far.” This suggested that it was difficult to know if there was anyone else still trapped inside at the time.
20:34 [At the scene] Police says 3 people still stuck under overturned bus. Fire and Rescue will lift up bus to free them
20:29 KMB bus on Tai Po Road near Tsung Tsai Yuen overturned, at least 19 dead. Fire and Rescue cutting open top of bus for rescue
19:48 [At the scene] Tai Po bus overturned killing 19 people. Sources at the scene say 3 are still inside the bus
19:44 Bus overturned on Tai Po Road killing 19 people, consisting of 17 male and 2 female
With regards to the heavy death toll and injured in yesterday’s bus crash incident, TVB offers our deepest condolences.
TVB’s news crew, as with all frontline reporters, will race against time to report on important events, but we will hold fast to our professional principles and ethics; we will never hinder rescue efforts for the sake of news reporting.
The bus overturned during an accident around 6pm in the evening; the emergency crew has rescued all the injured inside the bus by 7:45PM. At the same time, police officers had notified the media at the scene that the Fire and Rescue will be lifting up the bus in order to continue to look for the dead and injured, and in case of possible dangers to people present, have requested that the Press move away from their designated area.
As Ming Pao’s online news report said, “the female reporter asked the police officer if she can have three and a half minutes for her to make her live report, emphasising that three and a half minutes she will move away. The police officer replied that he understood the importance of freedom of the Press, but there may be more dead or injured inside the bus. After a minute, the police declared that the Fire and Rescue wants the Press to move away because there could be possible dangers whilst the bus is being lifted up. The female reporter responded with an “OK” and said that she will move to another location”.
In the end, it was a few hours later that Fire and Rescue personnel began winching up the bus; therefore, our reporters in no way had hindered the rescue effort at any time.