Residents prefer swamped trail to safer road

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2005, 12:00am

The short cut that Cheung So-ngo is believed to have taken is a mountain trail, just wide enough for one person, that becomes swamped when it rains heavily. It has no lights and, for the most part, has no handrail.

But it is a trail that locals said they want to keep, even after learning Cheung was supposedly swept from it into a stream.

'It would be a pity to close this track. After all, people have been using it for years without a problem and it is much more convenient,' said Ada Lam, who has lived at Kam Ying Court since it was opened in 1991. 'Personally I can't believe someone would get swept away like that, but sometimes accidents cannot be explained.

'Down there, it sometimes gets flooded and I have to take my shoes off to wade across,' she added, pointing to a section of the trail further downstream. Water runs just centimetres below the mountain trail's makeshift footbridge even when it is not raining.

The trail, which crosses the stream in three places, has a concrete surface, but fallen leaves and a damp surface made it slippery.

Still, locals said even children and the elderly preferred the mountain trail rather than a safer route which takes about twice as long. 'I go down this [route] every morning. I use it even when there is a typhoon.' said one 74-year-old man.