1918 February 26th, it was a beautiful sunny day.
To the roar of the crowd, Sir Ellis Kadoorie‘s TYTAM CHIEF galloped home to win the Hong Kong Derby.
Just before the China Stakes were due to start, there was a second, more sinister roar as one of the three storey rickety grandstands collapsed like a house of cards sending 3,000 spectators tumbling to the ground.
Underneath the stand were a number of cooked food stalls selling tea and dim sum. These primitive field kitchens were crushed during the collapse, littering the ground with burning coals.
The broken bamboo matting burst instantly into flames and soon the whole grandstand was ablaze.
[…] It is impossible to say how many were burned to death – probably this will never be known.” http://racingmemories.hk/hottopics/1918-02-26-the-fire-of-happy-valley-racecourse/ (4) Do jornal “THE NEW YORK TIMES” de 28 de Fevereiro, 1918 “HUNDREDS KILLED AT RACES; Panic […]
fully agree! All those estimations were deduced by the evidences collected from English and Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong around that era.
From the Chinese Inscriptions on the Official Memorial tablet located at the bottom right of the tomb, unidentifiable human remains were more than 590, and the numbers recorded on the registry were 614.
[…] levied such a terrible toll of human life though the fire was highly blazed only for 20 minutes. 1918-02-26 Mat-sheds Fire in Happy […]
[…] 6 February marks the centenary of a fire at Happy Valley Racecourse, with an estimated 600+ deaths.The Fire of Happy Valley Racecourse 1918-02-26 There is a very elaborate, but run down, memorial to the event up a pathway behind the Hong Kong […]
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