Hong Kong taxi driver killed in fiery collision with two trucks along highway to airport

A Hong Kong taxi driver was killed during a fiery collision involving three vehicles on Thursday morning that closed off a key highway for airport traffic for about seven hours.

At around 4.30am, police received a report of the accident on the North Lantau Highway, near Tung Chung’s Citygate mall, involving two trucks and a taxi.

Footage posted on social media showed the two trucks carrying freight cargo shunting into one another on the highway’s passing lane, before the taxi driven by a 39-year-old man slammed into the back of one of the heavy vehicles.

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The cab caught fire upon impact and became stuck under the rear truck, which was driven by a 46-year-old man.

According to the Fire Services Department, eight fire engines and four ambulances were sent to the scene. Firefighters extinguished the blaze soon after 5am.

“The charred body of the taxi driver was found in the cab,” a spokesman said.

The taxi driver was confirmed dead at the scene after emergency personnel put out the blaze.

The 46-year-old truck driver was also injured and taken to Princess Margaret Hospital. The other driver, 53, was unhurt.

A still from footage taken from a dashboard camera shows the two trucks moments before the collision with the taxi. Photo: Handout

Officers from the force’s New Territories South traffic unit are investigating the cause of the accident. Police have appealed for witnesses or anyone with information to contact officers on 3661 1344.

A taxi driver surnamed Kong said he was parking his cab just as the accident happened.

“The [rear] truck that halted in the fast lane had its lights turned off, and vision was very blurry and dark at that hour. I slowed down my vehicle and parked on the side as there was too much rubbish on the ground,” he said.

“Then about one minute later, I heard a loud bang and could see the taxi immediately burst into flames.”

Robber posing as passenger holds elderly taxi driver at knifepoint in Hong Kong

Following the accident, all lanes on the North Lantau Highway from the crash site to the airport were temporarily closed, before reopening at around 11.40am.

The Transport Department had urged commuters to use the city’s railway to avoid traffic congestion, while affected buses had been diverted.

Thursday’s crash was the city’s third fatal traffic accident in 10 days.

Figures from the force showed 18 people died in traffic accidents in Hong Kong in the first two months of this year. Last year, 90 people died in 89 fatal crashes.

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