The police arrived on Tuesday afternoon to clear the area after thousands of anti-government protesters forced flights to be cancelled. Hong Kong police have been trying to tackle the relentless demonstrations that have been going on for several weeks with undue force. The unprovoked violence by the “triad” hospitalised 45 people and shocked the region after horrific video footage of the brutal assaults quickly spread. The fourth day saw a sharp rise in attendance by protesters after a woman was hit in the eye by a tear gas round at the weekend and may potentially lose her vision as a result.
Hong Kong’s transportation chief Frank Chan said authorities were asking people to leave promptly due to safety concerns.
He said: “For the safety of airlines, tourists and staff, we call for people at the airport to quickly leave the airport for our staff to continue the operation.
“We can only return to operation after considering tourists’ and staff’s safety.”
He added the closure of the airport may impact the region’s economy, with analytics firm ForwardKeys already indicating a drop of 5.4 percent in flight books between June 16 and July 13.
In June, Hong Kong saw its biggest demonstration since the sit-in protests over proposed electoral reforms brought the city to a standstill five years ago.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong to share their concerns about China’s proposed extradition bill.
The new extradition bill proposed to send suspects to mainland China to face trial.
Critics to the bill said it would subject their citizens to China’s deeply flawed justice system, and would further lead to the erosion of the city’s judicial independence.
Now, pro-democracy protesters have overrun the main terminal at Hong Kong International Airport challenging police brutality, the extradition law and calling for more democracy.
The territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has said plans for the extradition law are “dead” – but protesters have continued their action calling for it to be formally withdrawn.