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|Sunday, August 13, 2000, updated at 11:22(GMT+8)|
Immigration Officer Dies Nine Days After Hong Kong Arson AttackA senior immigration officer has lost his fight for life after suffering severe burns in last week's firebomb attack on Hong Kong's main immigration office, a government spokesman said in Hong Kong.
Leung Kam-kwong, 42, sustained burns to 65 percent of his body after being engulfed by flames when a group of mainland Chinese nationals, protesting about the right to settle in Hong Kong, started a fire at the Immigration Tower in the central district of Wanchai.
He was receiving specialist care at Hong Kong's Queen Mary Hospital but was pronounced dead late Friday, the spokesman said.
Leung's death was the second fatality from the firebomb attack nine days ago, which injured some 50 people including both right-of-abode seekers and immigration officers.
A 26-year-old male abode seeker, surnamed Lam, died at the territory's Princess Margaret Hospital early on Friday.
A government spokeswoman said there were 13 people still receiving treatment in various hospitals.
One was in a critical condition and an immigration officer was listed as serious while the condition of 10 others was given as stable and one satisfactory.
Following the officer's death, police immediately reclassified their investigation into the incident at Immigration Tower as one of arson and homicide.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa said he was saddened to hear of the death of Leung and expressed his "deepest condolences" to his family.
"Mr Leung was an outstanding member of our Administration. He demonstrated much professionalism and courage in carrying out his duties loyally without any fear. He will be missed by all his colleagues," said Tung.
Leung had been an immigration officer for more than 19 years, joining the department in 1981 and being promoted to his present rank of Senior Immigration Officer in December 1995.
Ambrose Lee, director of immigration, said he had hoped Leung could recover and "was greatly disappointed to hear his death."
"My colleagues and I will take immediate and effective measures to help and console his wife and two children so that they could positively face this misfortune," he added.
Nineteen mainland Chinese nationals have so far been jointly accused of three counts of arson and two counts of harming with intent.
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