Two senior chefs from England’s famed restaurant, the Fat Duck, died Monday in a tragic accident when the taxi they were riding in was sandwiched between two double-decker buses in Hong Kong.
The crash in Shau Wei Ken claimed the lives of the Fat Duck chefs Ivan Aranto Herrera Jorge, 34, and Carl Magnus Lindgren, 30, along with the taxi driver, Wong Kim-chung, 53, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday.
The Fat Duck, owned by Heston Blumenthal, received three stars in the prestigious Michelin Guide. Blumenthal, who identified the bodies Tuesday night, was also in Hong Kong but not involved in the accident.
Herrena and Lindgren were staying at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, where the Fat Duck was conducting a promotional tour.
"Both were uniquely talented, young chefs who were visiting the city on business and were senior members of [British chef] Heston Blumenthal's culinary team," the hotel's communications director, Nina Colls said in a statement. "We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and our hearts and prayers are with their families and loved ones."
The Fat Duck opened its doors in 1995 and is run out of a 16th century building in Bray, England.
A spokesman for the Michelin-rated restaurant said the chefs killed in the horrific crash were “both senior members and great and dear friends.” He did not identify the two chefs by name.
"Two uniquely talented young chefs that were loved by everyone who worked with them,” the spokesman said. “They will be sadly and deeply missed."
More than 55 people were injured in the crash, which occurred after the driver of the first double-decker bus lost consciousness and collided with the taxi, which then slammed into another double-decker bus, the Standard of Hong Kong reported.
Footage from video cameras on the bus showed the driver, Chau Lit, losing consciousness and the vehicle veering out of control, according to the paper.
"The bus hit road barriers after going past the fire station," said William Chung Chak-ma, head of operations for New World First Bus, the owner of the double-decker. "The driver was unconscious for more than 10 seconds with the bus out of control. Nobody attempted to take control.”
Chung said Lit underwent a medical examination in July that did not indicate he had health problems that would impair his ability to drive the bus.
But the fatal crash that killed the two Fat Duck chefs is leading the bus company to consider making older drivers take tests to check for irregular heartbeats.
"We are now seeking medical advice on whether drivers aged 50 and above need to have electrocardiogram tests like those of 60 and above," Chung said.
The deaths of the two Fat Duck chefs sent shock waves through the restaurant world.
“Thoughts go out to all friends and family... Such a great loss of talented Fat Duck chefs,” tweeted John Campbell Restaurants head chef Olly Rouse.
“My heart is so heavy” tweeted Dave Chang, chef and co-founder of the famed Momofuku in New York, Sydney and Toronto.