Easter border jam proves too much for some

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 April, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 April, 2001, 12:00am

Updated at 6.14pm:
Tens of thousands of commuters thronged the SAR's border checkpoints on Friday at the start of the four-day Easter holiday, but long queues and hours of waiting drove some people to call off their trip and two travellers got embroiled in a punch-up.

An estimated 225,000 people crossed the border, according to the Immigration Department. During the peak time - between 8am and 11am - an average of 17,000 people passed the checkpoints every hour.

There was an hour and a half wait for train tickets at about 8.30am when over 7,000 people swarmed KCR stations and passengers at Lok Ma Chau had to wait for over two hours for the shuttle bus service.

At 9.30am, a row broke out between two men at a Lowu station platform. The two, aged 38 and 54, came to blows as they waited at an immigration counter.

Others found the queuing too much. ''The crowds was so off-putting that I've decided to return home,'' one traveller at Lowu said.