Two of the senior chefs from Heston Blumenthal’s famous restaurant, the Fat Duck, have been killed in a horrific bus crash while travelling in Hong Kong.
According to media reports and statements from the Hong Kong Police Force, the two men who were killed have been identified as Ivan Aranto Herrera Jorge, 34, from England, and Carl Magnus Lindgren, 30, from Sweden. The driver of the taxi in which the chefs were riding was also killed.
According to The Standard newspaper, Heston Blumenthal who was also in Hong Kong at the time, identified the bodies of his two top chefs. A photograph of Blumenthal being escorted by Hong Kong police was published in the newspaper on Wednesday.
The collision occurred on Monday morning, when a bus that was travelling downhill at full speed appeared to lose control and veer into the adjacent lane, smashing into two cars and crushing the taxi in which the chefs were travelling into another bus.
As well the three people killed in the taxi, 56 other people were injured, including bus passengers and drivers and the passengers in the other cars that the bus collided into.
The bus driver that appeared to be responsible for the accident was arrested on charges of dangerous driving. He has now been released on bail of HK $5000, according to police reports. The head of the bus company that was operating the bus, New World First Bus, claimed that video recordings from inside the bus show that the bus driver in fact fainted, causing the bus to veer out of control.
The company further said that the bus driver, who has not yet been named, had been driving for the company since 1998 and had a good safety record.
Both chefs were staying as guests at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong. The hotel’s communication director, Nina Colls, extended the hotel’s condolences to the chef’s families.
The news of the chefs’ deaths was met with sadness and regret in the culinary community. Chefs across the world, including such well known names as Thomas Keller and Raymond Blanc, extended words of sympathy and sadness on Twitter.
Heston Blumenthal’s restaurant, the Fat Duck, is one of the world’s most visited restaurants and has achieved the top culinary honor of three Michelin stars. The restaurant is known for its quirky and unusual molecular cooking. Lindgren and Jorge were both senior members of Blumenthal’s culinary team.