Disney asks experts if baseball pitch needs checking for bombs

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 April, 2006, 12:00am


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Disneyland is asking bomb experts whether it should check for unexploded war munitions at a baseball pitch being built for Little League games.

The Penny's Bay site was thoroughly checked by overseas specialists during construction in 2002, but security contractors have been asked to investigate whether an additional, hi-tech search is needed and how much it would cost.

The pitch, which sits on unused land beside Disney's Hollywood Hotel, is being offered to the teams, which approached Disney saying they had nowhere big enough to play.

Any search would focus on drainage ditches that would run alongside the ground, according to a security source familiar with the consultations over the pitch site.

The source said no final decision had been made on whether to search the area again, but Alannah Goss, director of corporate communications for Disneyland, said it did not appear necessary.

'There are no plans to conduct another check at this time,' she said. 'However ... we would not hesitate to consider another check should the need arise.'

Before work on the park began, Disney insisted to the government that specialists from the United States search the site for unexploded wartime bombs.

'Experts have already had another look at this site at Disney's request,' the source said, 'and their advice has been that there is no risk whatsoever to children playing baseball on this site.

'The only possible risk, and it is a minuscule one, would be to workmen digging the ditches along the side of the pitch because they will have to go a distance into the ground to lay drainage pipes.

'Disney is being ultra-cautious. They have gone further than most other companies in Hong Kong in checking for these devices and you could argue the way they have handled it is an example to the rest of the territory.'

Disney's concerns come amid major finds of wartime bombs left behind by the Japanese and Allies in Hong Kong. On April 8, 16 unstable high-explosive devices were detonated after 588 bombs were found at a drainage construction site in Cheung Sha Wan. On Wednesday, a mortar shell, hand grenade and rounds of ammunition were unearthed at the same site.