“Catástrofe ocorrida nas bancadas do campo das corridas de Hong Kong onde pereceram – entre outros, muitos portugueses” (1).

Não consegui saber quantos portugueses (macaenses) faleceram neste desastre

Hipódromo Happy Valley http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Valley_Racecourse

 Uma das bancadas (temporárias) do hipódromo “Happy Valley” (快活谷馬場 ou  跑馬地馬場) localizado em “Happy Valey” na ilha de Hong Kong, colapsou e a estrutura em bambu incendiou-se. Nunca se apurou o número exacto de mortes, desde 570 a 604 (o número de mortos mais citado). O “Hong Kong Telegraph” publicado no dia seguinte, enumerava 576 mortos. É considerado o pior desastre mundial num recinto desportivo. (2) (3) (4)

(1) A data apontada por Beatriz Basto da Silva foi de 2 de Março de 1918, mas não está correcta. A catástrofe foi a 26 de Fevereiro de 1918.
SILVA, Beatriz Basto da – Cronologia da História de Macau Século XX, Volume 4. Direcção dos Serviços de Educação e Juventude, 2.ª Edição, Macau, 1997, 454 p (ISBN 972-8091-11-7)
(2) “It was first built in 1845 to provide horse racing for the British people in Hong Kong. Before it was built, the area was a swampland, but also the only flat ground suitable for horse racing on Hong Kong Island. To make way for the racecourse, Hong Kong Government prohibited rice growing by villages in the surrounding area. The first race ran in December 1846. Over the years, horse racing became more and more popular among the Chinese residents. The race track was rebuilt in 1995, and became a world-class horse racing facility.”
(3) On February 26, 1918, the grounds suffered an enormous and historic fire which killed 614 or above in-scripted by the Chinese.
At a few minutes to three o’clock, just after the third bell had rung for the first race after Tiffin, the whole row of Chinese booth and mat-sheds, except one on the extreme north, collapsed, and awful confusion ensured.  The stands fell gradually, beginning from the stand labeled D.A.J.A. and falling southward and outwards towards the road and made a sound like a rasping of a saw.  It looked as if the tops of all the stands had been connected by a wire hawser and that this had been pulled over gradually.  The stands and booths took about 10 seconds to collapse. It is unclear how the fire began, but it quickly spread and the structure was an entire loss…(…)
 … It is impossible to give anything like the correct estimate for the loss of life but up to a late hour last night 570 bodies were collected on the race course.  Probably it will never be authentically discovered how many perished.The fire was got under at about 6p.m.  The charred human remains were carted away by coolies of the Sanitary Board for burial.  It is impossible to say how many were burned to death – probably this will never be known.”
(4) Do jornal “THE NEW YORK TIMES” de 28 de Fevereiro, 1918
HUNDREDS KILLED AT RACES; Panic at Hongkong When Fire Follows Collapse of Stands.
LONDON, Feb, 27.–In the collapse of the Chinese public stands at the Hongkong Jockey Club races Tuesday 100 women and children were trampled to death, according to a Reuter dispatch from Hongkong. Fire broke out and several hundred others burned to death.”

NOTA: Em 1922, foi construído um Monumento em memória daqueles que pereceram nesse dia. O Memorial fica localizado atrás do actual Estádio de Hong Kong.
Pode-se ver este memorial num video de 3 minutos do estádio de Hong Kong  em http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z-h5vqRjJs&list=UUirptzVmIdk8q6sifgGcppg&index=4