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The Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market is a Grade III historic building. It operates mainly the early morning just after midnight. The government intends to move the wholesale market to another location but there is debate over how to preserve the buildings in a redevelopment scheme.





 

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Court hears of dispute before killing at market
7 September 2010
South China Morning Post

The killing of a transport worker at Yau Ma Tei wholesale fruit market in July last year was preceded by a dispute between two groups of workers there, a court heard yesterday.

Chung Hung-chai, 40, a transport worker, faced the first day of a jury trial at the Court of First Instance on a charge of murdering Chan Wing-kin, 39. Chung pleaded not guilty. Chung allegedly struck Chan in the chest and abdomen with a machete, exposing his heart and lung, and cutting his left ventricle, on July 22 last year. Chan died from massive blood loss.

Before his death, two groups of workers at the market had had a dispute about the loading and unloading of goods, prosecutor Deb Crebbin said yesterday when opening the case. A day or two before Chan's death, a porter who worked with Chan had been injured, Crebbin said. Then, on the evening of Chan's death, the groups tried to settle the dispute. During an argument, Chan and others assaulted Chung with fists. Many of Chan's group then arrived with knives.

Chan returned to his office nearby. Another worker tried to warn him not to go out, but he did. "Once [Chan] walked out, the whole group rushed out. Four or five were holding weapons. None of us carried weapons," said Lam Tsz-kit, who was with Chan when the attack occurred, as he testified in court.

Chung had an exchange with someone else in his group. Suddenly, he struck at Chan's chest with the machete, said Lam, who also suffered a wound requiring five stitches to his waist and one requiring three stitches on his right hand in the scuffle.

Chung told police after his arrest that he had not intended to kill or seriously injure Chan, Crebbin said. "He thought of sliding the knife down the deceased gently to teach him a lesson," she said. He had been angered by the earlier assault and did not want to lose face with his workmates.

However, the prosecutor said, by striking at Chan's chest with his machete in a sweeping motion, with enough force to expose the heart and lung, Chung must have at least intended to cause a very severe injury, even if not enough to kill.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Michael McMahon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Ripe for change? Vibrant Hong Kong fruit market faces growing challenges after 103 years
Fewer young people now want to work in the Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market and relocation is an ever-present threat
October 1, 2016

The sound of rumbling fills the night air, as shirtless men with towels wrapped around their necks drag pallet jacks with stacked boxes of fruit across the road. Buyers and sellers yell at one another across stalls, surrounded by lego-like towers of boxes perched on wooden crates. Workers load their cargo into half-empty trucks parked outside the cluster of alleys.

It’s almost midnight, yet the work day is just beginning at the Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market.

From dusk till dawn, the rustic market comes to life as thousands of boxes full of imported fruits are sold and transported to various markets, shops and stalls across the city.

From 2014 to 2015, the private market supplied 317,000 tonnes of fruit or about 47 per cent of Hong Kong’s total supply, according to an April audit report.

“The Yau Ma Tei fruit market represents our old community,” Cheung Chi-cheung, vice-chairman of the Kowloon Fruit and Vegetable Merchants Association, said.

“People in the old fruit wholesale trade were usually undereducated people with low cultural levels [who] made a living and supported their families with their physical strength. It has a very long history in Hong Kong.”

Established in 1913, the market is one of Hong Kong’s oldest and once handled nearly all of the fresh food sold on the Kowloon peninsula. Initially also selling poultry, rice and fish, it became solely a fruit market in the 1960s after the government relocated the poultry merchants and fishermen moved after the seafront underwent various reclamations.

Given a grade two heritage status by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 2009, the market now has about 250 wholesalers and covers an area of roughly 14,000 square metres.

Despite its historic value, the market has come under intense criticism in recent years, with residents complaining about environmental hygiene issues, traffic and noise pollution. It was also thrown into the public spotlight when one of its stalls caught fire earlier this month. At least 10 stalls were burnt and about 30 operators remain out of business.

More : http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...e-change-vibrant-hong-kong-fruit-market-faces
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Stalls destroyed as fire tears through Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market in Hong Kong
No casualties reported in third-alarm blaze that started from a stall, but surrounding road sections closed
September 4, 2016


羅錦鴻攝


劉子文攝


林兆崙攝


麥文浩攝

At least 10 stalls in Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market were burnt after one of them caught fire on Sunday afternoon, sending plumes of black smoke skyward as a fire crew battled to contain the blaze.

The fire first broke out at a stall built from metal sheets and located near Shek Lung Street at 4.24pm on Sunday. It was upgraded to a third-alarm 13 minutes later.

Firefighters and police officers went to the scene after receiving several reports from nearby residents.

Kowloon West divisional commander of fire services Lo Kam-wing said around 40 people were evacuated and no casualties were reported.

“The area of fire was as large as 20m by 30m. We are still looking into the cause of fire and no explosion were reported,” Lo said.

It is understood that dangerous goods including compressed gases were found near the fire ground.

Television images showed large swathes of mesh and metal scaffolding alight in a blaze among the stalls, while loud cracks were reportedly heard as the stalls burned. Some residents in the area reported smoke billowing around their high-rise homes at the height of the fire.

The fire was contained shortly after 8pm and put out at 9.19pm. The department deployed 154 fire services personnel, 32 fire trucks, four ambulances and mobilised eight jets.
 
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