Hong Kong authorities will investigate why a large, heavy video screen fell from the ceiling during a concert by a popular boy band at a government-run venue, injuring two dancers, officials said Friday.
The accident happened Thursday night during a performance by Mirror, a 12-piece band based in the Chinese territory whose popularity has increased during the coronavirus pandemic.
In footage from the concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum, onlookers scream after the video screen lands directly on a dancer, edge down, apparently on his neck. The South China Morning Post newspaper later reported that one of the two male dancers had suffered a neck injury and was in intensive care. It said the other was in stable condition.
Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, Hong Kong’s secretary for culture, sports and tourism, told reporters on Friday that one of the display’s suspension cables was broken. Each of the screens for the site’s four-sided projection system measures 5 meters by 3.9 meters or 210 square feet, according to the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which manages the Colosseum.
Hong Kong CEO John Lee said in a statement early Friday that he had asked the leisure department and other agencies to investigate the accident and “review the safety requirements of comparable performance activities”.
“I am shocked by the incident,” said Mr. Lee. “I extend my condolences to those who were injured and hope they recover quickly.”
Hong Kong authorities said in a separate statement that the government contacted concert organizers about “stage incidents in recent days” on Wednesday – the day before the accident. It went no further and the recreation department was not immediately available for comment.
On Tuesday, Mirror member Frankie Chan Sui-fai fell from the stage at the Hong Kong Coliseum during the second day of the band’s planned 12-day series of concerts, The South China Morning Post reported. He fell about three feet and was not seriously injured, the report said.
Makerville, the organizer of the concert, apologized for the accident on Thursday night in an Instagram post early Friday, adding that Mirror’s remaining concerts at the venue would be cancelled. The band’s management did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Drawing on K-pop as an influence, Mirror was formed in 2018 through a reality show designed to create a hit boy band. The members sing in Cantonese, a Chinese dialect widely spoken in the former British colony.
The band’s escapist lyrics were a kind of balm for a fearful population during a tumultuous period in Hong Kong’s history.
In 2019, the city was consumed by months of mass protests sparked by a bill to allow extraditions to mainland China. Then came a bunch of pandemic-related restrictions that have affected Hong Kong’s economy, as well as a sweeping national security law that has curtailed freedoms at breathtaking speed.
Mirror’s popularity soared as Hong Kong struggled. The band sold out concert halls, accounting for some of the only large-scale events in the city during the pandemic. The members’ faces are plastered on billboards, buses and advertisements in the subway.
The Colosseum where Mirror performed Thursday opened in 1983, according to the recreation department’s website. It can accommodate about 12,500 people, the site says, and meets local demand for a “world-class indoor stadium.”
Zixu Wang reporting contributed.