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Safety requirements for "Bun scrambling" practically feasible

In response to media enquiries, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) today (May 17) further clarified its specified safety requirements for the staging of "bun scrambling" activity.

A spokesman for the LCSD noted that the Department had consulted the engineering sector and the professional advice was that there was a lack of objective data to prove that bamboo "bun towers" could support the weight of the climbers and the intensity of their movement thereon. In the opinion of the professionals and LCSD's Structural Engineer, there would be objective data to assess the structural safety of the "bun towers" if they were to be built by approved materials, such as steel frame.

As for the design, "bun towers" with steel frame as the basic structure and bamboos as the outer layer would look the same as traditional "bun towers". The Assistant Director of LCSD, Mr Eddy Yau Kwok-yin, had earlier passed on the expert advice to the applicant.

The LCSD had also consulted the advisor of the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union Limited in regard to the climbing activity on "bun towers". According to their expert advice, the climbers should put on safety ropes so that they could be harnessed at a fixed position and would not fall down in case there was any accident.

As a bun tower has a height of 15 metres (about the same as a five-storey building) and a base diameter of three metres, it would be necessary to require the climbers to be equipped with safety ropes for their own safety.

The spokesman said: "With regard to the professional advice on the structural safety of the bun towers by the departments concerned and the experts in the industry and in view of the accident of the collapse of the bun towers in 1978, we consider that the safety requirements as specified by the department are absolutely necessary and practically feasible."

"The Department has always lent full support to community organisations in staging traditional activities at its venues. Public safety and the safety of the climbers is the primary consideration and organizers are required to take every possible measure to ensure that the activity is conducted in a safe and orderly manner," he stressed.

Ends/Monday, May 17, 2004
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