Mirror at the Hong Kong Coliseum

Mirror Concert Accident: Causes revealed following the release of the investigation report

Three months after the July 28 accident, the investigation report led by the Cultural, Sports and Tourism Bureau was finally released on 11th November regarding the fall of the LED screen onto the stage at “MIRROR.WE.ARE LIVE CONCERT 2022.”

The Mirror concert was originally scheduled to be a series of 12 shows at the Hong Kong Coliseum from July 25 to August 6. During the July 28 show, a giant LED panel fell and hit two dancers during the performance.

One dancer, Li Kai-yin, was still in the hospital with vertebrae damage, facing paralysis from the neck down. Another, Chang Tsz-fung, has to do daily physiotherapy after the screen hit his head and crushed his pelvis and thighs.

Before the release of the report, five suspects from the main contractor Engineering Impact Limited and subcontractor Hip Hing Loong were arrested on the suspicion of fraud and allowing objects to fall.

According to the report, three major causes that triggered the accident include:

  • The snapping of a wire rope caused by metal fatigue
  • Design problem of eyebolt installation
  • Undesirable safety factor of the suspension system
Close-up of the LED panel involved in the accident (Credit: authorized from Lau Tsz Ting)

The investigation revealed that the stadium was using substandard cables with poor installation. The condition of the cables was low-quality while the rope protectors and LED screens were improperly installed either. Sleeve turnbuckles were not put on the LED screen involved, causing the fall when there was pressure on the device.

In addition, Engineering Impact Limited has misreported equipment weight in the stadium. For instance, the weight of six LED screens was under-reported by 63 per cent at 1,632kg while Laser lights and related mechanical devices were over-reported about 3.7 times more than declared. As a result, this has made the safety factor dropped to 4.2 (international standard: 8-10), which led to the accident in the end.

Video from the first show demonstrating the performance which accident was occurred three days after (Credit: authorized from Lau Tsz Ting)

Shortly after the release of the investigation report, we asked a fan of Mirror and a dancer about the findings.

Ms. L, a video panel operator who has been a fan of Mirror for more than one year, went to the fourth show of the concert on 28th July, witnessing the LED panel fell and hit the dancers during the performance.

“I feel shocked and hopeless when seeing the two dancers lying on stage without any movements,” L recalled. “I think the investigation report is able to explain the causes of the accident and clarify for the public… However, it doesn’t have much reference value for the industry. It is still unclear towards the responsibility of the incident and the protective measures for performers in the future.”

Ms. C, an independent dancer who has been dancing for concerts for three years, shares similar view with Ms. L.

“I think the report is useless for the public because it is just telling the things that we knew three months ago…I was expecting it to list out all the parties involved and give a higher transparency to the public,” C said. “Hong Kong’s performers are usually under-protected, in which organisers tend not to buy any insurance for us. We are just the lower class in the industry and ‘being careful’ is our only way to protect ourselves.”

Members of Mirror came out to the stage by wire-flying (Credit: authorized from Lau Tsz Ting)

In fact, there was already a problem with the LED panel on Thursday morning. Nevertheless, neither no one fixed it in time, nor did they purchase insurance for the dancers and report work-related injuries.

Kowloon West regional crime unit Superintendent Alan Chung pointed out that the operations on 11th November were just a result of the first phase of the investigation, and there will be the possibility of arresting more people if new evidence is obtained.

Feature image: Authorized from Macy

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