Telford headteacher could be stranded in Hong Kong after narrowly missing 'horrific' scenes during anti-government protests
A Telford headteacher could be stranded in Hong Kong after narrowly missing 'horrific' scenes during anti-government protests.
All departures from the country's airport, one of the world's busiest transport hubs, have been cancelled amid the disruption.
Hong Kong-born Krissi Carter, head at Burton Borough School in Newport, has been spending the summer in her homeland with her parents.
On Saturday she missed being caught in the crossfire of riots in the Kowloon shopping area by a matter of hours. Ugly scenes saw police and protesters clash as officers cleared people away with tear gas. One woman, not in protective clothing, prompted residents and passers-by to heckle police.
Violent protests have been taking place for the last ten weekends, but the latest round of clashes still came as a shock to Krissi.
She said: "It happened just a few hours after I went into the Nike store on Nathan Road to buy gym gloves. Thank goodness I left when I did.
"I'm out here because my mum and dad live out here - I was born and grew up in Hong Kong. I am very lucky in that I have just missed the real horrific scenes. I am constantly checking on Twitter to keep up to date with where the police/protests are. Where there is police, there is tear gas. So I am trying to stay away."
The protests were sparked by a controversial extradition bill which would have allowed suspected criminals to be sent to mainland China for trial.
Critics said it would undermine Hong Kong's legal freedoms, and could be used to silence political dissidents.
Although the government has now suspended the bill, protesters want it to be fully withdrawn.
Fortunately, Krissi has stayed safe, but she is worried that she might not be able to get back to Shropshire in time for GCSE results day.
Crowds of protesters carrying placards and wearing masks have filled the airport, and passenger flights out of the country have been grounded.
She said: "I’m just worried that I won’t be able to fly back to the UK on Monday, and I really need to because I get the kids' results on the Wednesday."
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