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Hong Kong’s National Day ferry disaster

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By Tyrone Siu

When the National Day fireworks ended in enthusiastic applause, most photographers – especially those who were functioning on an empty stomach like me - thought we could finally call it a night. After all, we had witnessed all the hustle and bustle since early in the day at the flag-raising ceremony. It was, we thought, perhaps enough sensation for a single day.

I was about to enjoy a nice hotpot dinner with other battered journalists after filing my fireworks pictures, when a reporter on site mentioned a brief report online that ruined the plan.

It said that two ferries had collided off Hong Kong's Lamma Island but did not mention any injuries, but a hunch told me it could turn out to be a particularly nasty disaster. A minute later, I was carrying my clumsy tripod to evade the happy festival-goers and run past the police’s quarantine line to search for a taxi.

SLIDESHOW: DEADLY FERRY COLLISION

My watch told me half an hour had passed since the crush when the taxi was driving at full speed – heading to somewhere that I needed to decide soon. I told myself the decision had to be made promptly and I knew a wrong judgment call would cost me the opportunity to record the incident.

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