What was bugging creepy crawlies?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 September, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 September, 2003, 12:00am

Every government has its dirty little secrets and ours is no exception.

On the night of July 13, Sai Ying Pun residents living at the intersection of Queen's Road West and Water Street in Western witnessed a mass 'exodus' of cockroaches from underground drains. The creepy-crawly phenomenon occurred again the next morning.

Understandably concerned about hygiene and safety, the residents called their local district offices.

'Animals and insects are very sensitive to dangers, so we suspected there might have been a gas leak,' Central and Western District Council member Chan Choi-hi told Lo Down. 'Towngas immediately carried out an inspection but found nothing amiss.'

The mystery deepened at a council meeting on Thursday when the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department sent a written reply claiming its workers had seen their colleagues from the Drainage Services Department carrying out underground maintenance work in the Sai Ying Pun area. This raised the possibility that drainage workers had flushed out the bugs.

But residents were left searching for yet another theory after a drainage official at the meeting said there was no record of work by the department in the neighbourhood on the days in question.

The truth is out there, but will it ever emerge?