HONG KONG — Two dancers have been injured after a huge video screen crashed onto the stage during a concert by popular Hong Kong boy band Mirror.
More than a dozen performers were on stage at the Hong Kong Coliseum late Thursday night when the screen appeared to come loose from one of the two metal cords from which it was suspended. It landed directly on one dancer before falling backward onto another, eliciting screams from a crowd of thousands.
The sold-out concert was stopped and audience members were asked to leave after the incident.
The Hospital Authority said one of the dancers was in intensive care in serious condition, and underwent an operation on Friday afternoon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The other person was in stable condition and was discharged from the same hospital on Friday afternoon. No details of their injuries were provided.
Kelvin Tang, who was at the concert, described the accident as “unbelievable” and “heartbreaking.”
“After the accident, I saw some audience members fainted, and some cried outside the stadium,” Tang, 42, a customer service executive, said via Facebook Messenger. “They were happy to watch the performance, but everyone left with an angry, heavy, sad and worried mood. Now we just hope the victims are safe.”
Kevin Yeung, the Hong Kong secretary for culture, sports and tourism, said Friday that one of the metal cords had snapped, causing the screen to fall.
“We take this incident very seriously, because the safety of the performance stage is very important,” he told reporters.
Relatives of the injured dancers are returning to Hong Kong from overseas, Yeung said. Covid-19 restrictions in the Chinese territory require all travelers from overseas to complete seven days of hotel quarantine, although they are sometimes allowed to leave to visit loved ones in hospitals.
Yeung said the government would do its best to balance the needs of the dancers’ relatives with pandemic prevention measures.
He said a working group composed of experts and government personnel would investigate the accident and how to ensure the safety of future performances, with the investigation expected to take at least a few weeks.
Chris Sun, the secretary for labor and welfare, said his department would also thoroughly investigate the matter and take legal action if appropriate.
MakerVille, one of the concert organizers, apologized for the accident in a statement and said it was investigating. The eight remaining concerts in the 12-show series have been canceled and tickets will be refunded.
This was not the first accident to take place during the Mirror concert series, which began Monday. Band member Frankie Chan accidentally stepped off the edge of the stage on Tuesday night, The South China Morning Post reported. He fell about three feet and posted on social media later that he was bruised but otherwise fine.
Fans then started an online petition calling on concert organizers to “ensure the safety of all performers,” citing Chan’s fall along with other perceived safety issues. The petition had gathered more than 12,000 signatures before the accident on Thursday.
A Hong Kong government statement said the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which manages the Hong Kong Coliseum, and the Labor Department had contacted the concert organizer on Wednesday about the recent incidents and requested a safety review.
The accident greatly jarred concertgoers as well as the broader community. The Hong Kong Red Cross, which set up a dedicated counseling hotline, said it had received 77 calls and 76 text messages as of 4 p.m. Friday. The group said most people reported feeling sad, scared and worried, with many of them saying they could not sleep or focus on their work or studies.
The Hospital Authority also urged the public to call its mental health hotline.
“Members of the public are advised to avoid watching relevant video clips, and should also be cautious about their exposure to the information related to the incident,” Karen Tam, the Hospital Authority’s senior clinical psychologist, said in a statement. “They should always be aware of their emotions and maintain regular life. When necessary, they should talk to people they trust.”
Mirror is a boy band that sings in Cantonese, the local language in Hong Kong. Its 12 members rose to prominence after they appeared as contestants on a television talent show called “King Maker” in 2018.
While not as globally famous as South Korea’s BTS, their faces are unavoidable in Hong Kong, appearing on countless billboards, advertisements, and even on public transportation. Band members have served as brand ambassadors for companies including Gucci, McDonald’s and HSBC.
They also have a devoted fan base. Since the accident on Thursday, the hashtag #Weareoneandall — a reference to one of the group’s songs — has been trending on social media, with fans showing solidarity and posting trigger warnings concerning the graphic video. Some Mirror fans have also changed their social media icons to a blank black screen.
“Hong Kong people love Hong Kong, [and] project it to a group rooted in Hong Kong,” said Tang, the concertgoer. “I hope Hong Kong people will be strong and endure hard times together with Mirror!”