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Measures for orderly viewing of bun scrambling contest

The Bun Scrambling Competition, a traditional event which people have been waiting for after its suspension 26 years ago, will be revived at the soccer pitch of Pak Tai Temple Playground, Cheung Chau at midnight on May 16.

A series of measures have been worked out to ensure people can see the competition in an orderly manner.

The event is jointly organised by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) and Hong Kong Cheung Chau Bun Festival Committee. A large crowd of people is expected to turn up in Cheung Chau to view the contest.

The LCSD, Home Affairs Department, Police and Transport Department today (May 12) held a joint press conference to announce the details of the crowd management measures.

The LCSD's Assistant Director of Leisure Services, Mr Eddy Yau Kwok-yin, said: "The opening ceremony of the Bun Scrambling Competition will start at 11.30pm on May 15, while the competition will begin right after midnight.

"The soccer pitch of Pak Tai Temple Playground which has limited space can accommodate a total of 1,000 people.

"The venue will be divided into five zones, with one zone designated for the guests and the other four for the 1,000 spectators.

"People who wish to see the competition at the soccer pitch should gather at Pak She Second Lane, and queue up along Wo Shun Lane and Pak She First Lane. The Police will be there for crowd management. Admission will start at 10.30pm and people should have to enter the venue orderly in sequence from Zone One to Zone Four."

Mr Yau added: "It is anticipated there will be quite a number of people waiting to view the contest, so we have arranged to open the Cheung Chau Sports Centre and Praya Street Sports Centre, with two screen walls measuring six metres by six metres and four metres by four metres respectively, to live broadcast the competition.

"Once the soccer pitch is full, the organisers and the Police will make public announcements and distribute admission tickets, as well as direct those people who are unable to enter the soccer pitch to the two sports centres."

The Cheung Chau Sports Centre and Praya Street Sports Centre can accommodate 1,000 and 100 people respectively. Admission will start after 10.30pm.

Meanwhile, the Jade Channel of Television Broadcasting Limited, now BROADBAND TV and Cable TV News II will live broadcast the competition. Therefore, people may also enjoy the exciting event at home.

Notices will be put up at the ferry piers in Cheung Chau and Central, informing people the schedule of the events and the locations of the venues. Announcements will also be made on board ferries, while directional signs will be posted along the way to the two sports centres in Cheung Chau.

Those who wish to see the contest are urged to pay attention to the announcements, Mr Yau said.

The Divisional Commander (Cheung Chau), Mr Francis Lee Chi-hung, noted: "Number chips will be distributed when too many people are queuing up outside the Pak She Praya Road entrance to the soccer pitch. We may allow the 1,000 people to enter the venue earlier when necessary to avoid from keep waiting too long."

The Senior Transport Officer (Planning/Ferry), Mr Kenneth Mok Yin-kit, remarked: "In view of many people dispersing after the event, the New World First Ferry has arranged additional ordinary ferry service at 1.15am which can take 1,200 passengers from Cheung Chau to Central. Extra ferry services will be arranged when necessary.

"Moreover, the following overnight bus routes will be scheduled between 2am and 3am on May 16 via the ferry pier in Central:

- N8X (from Macau Ferry Terminal, Central to Siu Sai Wan)
- N182 (from Macau Ferry Terminal, Central to Kwong Yuen, Sha Tin)
- N619 (from Macau Ferry Terminal, Central to Shun Lee, Kwun Tong)

"The Transport Department will closely monitor people's demand for public transport, and will keep close contact with the ferry and bus companies to make necessary transport arrangements.

The Islands District Officer, Mr Owin Fung Ho-yin, said: "The Auxiliary

Medical Service will standby at the soccer pitch and two sports centres for any emergency cases.

"Ambulances of the Fire Services Department (FSD) will be stationed at the emergency exit of the soccer pitch. Coaches of the Hong Kong Mountaineering Union (HKMU) will immediately use the rescue ropes to evacuate any contestants of the Bun'Scrambling Competition from the bun tower down to the ground when needed. After that, the FSD’s ambulance men will use the stretchers to send the injured to the Cheung Chau Hospital for medical treatment.

"Individual exits are found at each zone in the soccer pitch to facilitate emergency rescue.

"The manpower of the hospital will be doubled and additional manpower of the Government Flying Service will be deployed at Chek Lap Kok for standby to provide necessary first aid service on board helicopters."

Mr Yau appealed those people who wish to see the competition in Cheung Chau to co-operate and follow the instructions given by the Police and working staff of the organisers. In order to see this traditional activity orderly, they should be patient in crowded places.

He added: "In the event of Typhoon Signal Number Three or above or Black Rainstorm Warning hoisted three hours before the start of the contest at about 8.30pm, the contest will be cancelled. We will disseminate the messages to the public via the media.

"Advice will be sought from the HKMU if the contest should continue should there be inclement weather when the contest is in progress."

Ends/Thursday, May 12, 2005

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