When a bomb exploded in a Hong Kong cinema, injuring 11 and sending 400 stampeding out of the building

When a bomb exploded in a Hong Kong cinema, injuring 11 and sending 400 stampeding out of the building

“Fifty-one-year-old Mr Wong Lu-ming was sitting back in his front stall seat inside the Hoover Theatre, bursting into laughter at the comic characters of a film satirising the police, ‘Supremo’, when a bomb went off, making him feel that the film screen had exploded in his face,” reported the South China Morning Post on June 1, 1974.

“Shocked and dazed by a thunderous boom and a ball of fire, the next thing he knew he was taking part in a stampede out of the Causeway Bay theatre, into which he earlier had gone with hopes of finding some amusing entertainment. Instead, he had real life thrills and shocks aplenty.

“Still smelling of cordite fumes and with singed hair, Mr Wong shook his head in bewilderment at the experience and pointed to his leather shoes spotted with marks made by flying shrapnel.

“At that moment, he felt a pain in his left leg and saw that his sock was soaked with blood. ‘It was like hell inside. Before I saw the fire, I thought it was a cave-in or something. And I thought I would be killed instantly before I realised I should dash out like the others,’ Mr Wong said.

The explosion happened in the Hoover Theatre in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Photo: SCMPost
Crowds gather outside the Hoover Theatre after a bomb exploded under a seat in the left front stalls while the film Supremo was being screened. The blast injured 11 people and sent more than 400 stampeding out of the building. Photo: SCMP

“A government employee, 24-year-old Mr A. Chan, sitting further back with a friend, received slight burns on his left hand and hair. But his friend received burns on his face and had to be treated at Queen Mary Hospital.

“Another injured cinema-goer who was sitting further away from the explosion said he at first thought it was caused by an electrical short-circuit. ‘But when I smelt the explosives, I knew it must have been some sort of bomb,’ he said.”


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