The Hong Kong Garrison of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army reported a helicopter accident during its training at a park on Monday afternoon, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said in a statement on Tuesday via its official website.
No residential buildings were damaged or civilians injured during the accident, read the statement.
The Security Bureau said in a statement on Tuesday night that it had been notified by the garrison about Monday afternoon’s incident at Tai Lam Country Park.
While the Chinese statement described it as a crash, the English version used the term “accident”. Neither statement provided details about what had happened.
“The incident did not involve any injury to people or damage to residences. The garrison is handling and investigating the incident in accordance with the garrison law,” the bureau said.
The bureau said it would continue to liaise with the base on the incident.
It was the first accident in the city involving the local garrison’s aircraft since the handover from British to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
The garrison is required by the Chinese constitution to make prior notifications to the Hong Kong government on any training operations that involve “a public interest”.
Lawmaker James To Kun-sun, a member of the Legislative Council’s security panel, said the local garrison should inform the public promptly about incidents to avoid casualties, but accepted some military operations required a level of secrecy.
“Had [the aircraft] carried bombs or other dangerous items, many people would have been affected if announcements were made late,” he said.