Investigation Report on the Mirror Concert Incident at Hong Kong Coliseum released
After detailed study of the findings of laboratory examinations of the fallen LED panel, the stage equipment and related installations, the Task Force came to a conclusion on the causes of the incident. The Task Force took the view that the causes of the incident included:
(1) The snapping of a wire rope caused by metal fatigue
The wire rope tied to the LED panel snapped due to the occurrence of metal fatigue in some of the wires forming the rope. The causes include (1) inferior conditions of the rope, with the breaking strength of the wire rope being lower than the lowest breaking strength of a normal one; (2) the actual weight of the LED panel being much heavier than what was reported; (3) a problematic winch installation system making the rope guard difficult to rotate, causing damage to the rope surface and inducing extra load on the rope, leading to plastic deformation; and (4) poor workmanship on the assembly and installation of the LED panel suspension system.
(2) Design problem of eyebolt installation
No turnbuckle was installed at the eyebolt bolted onto the frame of the LED panel to facilitate levelling adjustment. When one of the wire ropes snapped, the eyebolt, which was tied to the remaining unbroken wire rope, broke and failed to prevent the LED panel from falling.
(3) Undesirable safety factor of the suspension system
The on-site measured actual weight of the fallen LED panel was much heavier than what was reported, resulting in the safety factor of the suspension system being far below the international standards.
According to the current hiring mechanism of the HKC, hirers are required to ensure compliance and observance by themselves, their staff, co-presenters, contractors, sub-contractors and others, under the Terms and Conditions of Hire of HKC and relevant laws. Hirers are required to ensure all stage installations brought in, including the suspension set-up, meet the safety standards. Hirers should also appoint an Authorised Person, usually a registered professional, to certify that the relevant installations meet the accepted standard of the trade and are sound and safe. The HKC has been operating for 40 years and adopting the said arrangement, which has been followed by the industry. The generally smooth operation of the concerts held in the HKC in the past proves that the mechanism has been working effectively.
The Government considered that the hirer and/or its contractor(s) and sub-contractor(s) breached some of the requirements in the Terms and Conditions of Hire for HKC. For example, the hirer should provide full and accurate details of the proposed arrangement for the use of a unit including the weight of any structure or equipment to be rigged or suspended from the roof space frame.
In view of the causes of the incident, the Task Force made a series of recommendations to strengthen the hiring mechanism to ensure that hirers will comply with the requirements and fulfil their responsibilities under the Terms and Conditions of Hire so as to enhance safety for performance events, upholding the safety of performers and audiences.
These measures include requiring hirers to specify the roles and duties of the parties engaged by them in the checking mechanism, and requiring hirers to provide documentary proof of the accurate weight of the bring-in structures and equipment and engage registered professionals to verify its accuracy and carry out proof load testing for all motional or elevating machinery. Hirers are required to submit the Mill Test Certificate for steel wire ropes and conduct rehearsals well before the first performance. The LCSD will study the feasibility of introducing a third party independent auditor with the relevant expertise to conduct auditing of the work and installations set up by the hirer and introduce a proper mechanism against breaches of the Terms and Conditions of Hire for the LCSD venues.
The LCSD will discuss the implementation details with the performing industry in the coming few months before the actual application of new enhancement measures. The industry players are required to follow the three interim measures adopted since August 2022 or adopt other measures approved by the LCSD.
The Task Force has completed its investigation and suggested enhancement measures. Since the possibility of human mistakes in the incident or any breach of Hong Kong law cannot be ruled out, the LCSD has referred the case to the relevant department for further investigation.
The investigation report has been uploaded to the department's website at www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/aboutlcsd/ppr/investigation/Mirror_Concert_Report_en.pdf.
Ends/Friday, November 11, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:25
Issued at HKT 19:25