• Former employee says he did not pay special attention to Cheung Chiu-kit, 21, when he took the incorrect path leading to his fatal accident
  • Medical experts to explain Cheung's death on Thursday, the fourth day of the six-day inquest
Ocean Park closed the Halloween haunted house “Buried Alive” after the fatal accident on September 16, 2017. Photo: David Wong

Two amusement park workers told an inquest on Wednesday they mistook a student going the wrong way in a Halloween-themed attraction for a colleague " and did not stop him from being killed by a movable slide in 2017.

Gerald Medalla, a former performer at Ocean Park who worked at the haunted house called "Buried Alive "two years ago, told the Coroner's Court he did not pay special attention to Cheung Chiu-kit, 21, when he took the incorrect path leading to the slide.

Medalla, a native of the Philippines whose job was to "scare" customers into going in the right direction, said he had confused Cheung with a staff member because he did not react when he tried to spook him.

He said he only learned of the fatal accident the next day.

Seven Ocean Park workers gave evidence in court on the third day of an inquest into the death of Cheung, who was found unconscious beneath a mechanical slide at the Halloween-themed attraction on September 16, 2017. He was pronounced dead in hospital the same day.

Gerald Medalla, a Filipino performer who previously worked at Ocean Park, at the inquest on Wednesday. Photo: Brian Wong

In previous hearings, the court heard the correct way for Cheung was to walk down a corridor after sliding down from the second floor of the attraction, and turn to the exit. Performing staff were expected to "frighten" him to make sure he turned.

Lam Yau-sing, an Ocean Park performer at the time, was asked to perform that task on the day in question " but he said he had positioned himself incorrectly. He said he stood behind a door curtain at the exit instead of standing in front of it. As a result, he did not notice Cheung walk past the doorway.

Inquest into Hong Kong 'haunted house' death: visitors had clear instructions on attraction, show director says

He said he was assigned two performing roles that day and had to switch positions periodically after the haunted house opened. He said he took up the incorrect position because he saw his colleague stand there the previous day.

Medalla, who stood along the path leading to the slide, could have prevented Cheung from going further but did not stop him.

"There was a person (who did not follow my instruction), but I thought he was an employee," Medalla said. "He did not pay attention to me. He just knew the way around."

He said Cheung seemed to be wearing black that day " the same colour worn by some of his colleagues.

Leung Pui-kei, and Ocean Park worker, on Wednesday

Leung Pui-kei said he was working backstage that day, monitoring the slide that killed Cheung on a surveillance camera. He said he noticed "a shadow" entering the back side of the slide before the accident. He went to look in the corridor briefly but found nothing suspicious.

He then asked his colleague, Ng Wai-lam, to double-check the surveillance camera footage, but she did not find the "shadow" he had noticed.

"I spoke with her about the shadow. Did I bump into a ghost? Or did a colleague walk past?" he told the court.

He said he only learned the truth when he was unable to return the descended slide to the upper level five minutes after the accident. His superior raised the slide using an emergency key and found Cheung lying face down underneath.

Doctors and pathologists will explain Cheung's death on Thursday, the fourth day of the six-day inquest.

Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Comment 0