MTRC was not to blame
THE hunt for scapegoats in the wake of the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy seems to have reached its zenith with the ridiculous suggestion by A. J. Reason that the MTR is partly to blame (South China Morning Post, January 5).
The crush occurred immediately after midnight, not five minutes before the last train left Central. It was not on an overcrowded platform, but several hundred feet from the nearest MTR entrance.
The MTR is not responsible for crowd control in D'Aguilar Street, the police are.
The problem seems to be that a large crowd, in high spirits, was allowed to gather in a wholly unsuitable area. The streets in Lan Kwai Fong have always been dangerous and slippery.
The pavement rises and falls dramatically, relative to the road surface, leaving plenty of opportunity for people to fall on the quietest of nights.
I keep hearing that drinking in the streets should be made illegal, as spilt beer made the road surface slippery. When it rains the street is just as slippery, surely rain can't be outlawed too.
The top part of D'Aguilar Street could be closed to traffic permanently. This would allow a more suitable road surface to be laid. Removable crush barriers could be placed across the road during festivals. This would separate the crowd into controllable units yet allow delivery trucks access at other times. No large crowd should have been allowed to gather in such potentially dangerous conditions. What we need to be doing is looking at solutions for the future instead of finger pointing.
NATHANIEL GREENE Pokfulam