$3m noise barrier for park stage

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 May, 2006, 12:00am

Leisure officials hope to reduce complaints

The government plans to build a noise barrier at Tuen Mun Park in an attempt to reduce residents complaints about noise from musicians in the park and their fans.

The wall, to be built around part of the park's amphitheatre, is estimated to cost about $3 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in July and to finish by April.

The plan came as the government yesterday defended leisure officers' handling of a noise complaint at the Park on Sunday, when an elderly onlooker died from a fall during scuffles among a crowd.

The 72-year-old man died after tripping on tree roots during a clash between Leisure and Cultural Services Department officers and a crowd of about 100 people.

The row began when the officers went to the park to investigate a noise complaint against street musicians performing folk songs. The park attracts elderly musicians at weekends who often draw large crowds, but there have been repeated complaints when they use amplifiers and loudspeakers.

A witness said park officers were told about the man's fall but had ignored the incident. However, the department stressed yesterday the officers immediately alerted police after learning of the man's fall.

'We were informed that an elderly man had collapsed nearby, and our colleagues immediately alerted police and asked for an ambulance. We also dispatched a security guard to the scene to look after the elderly man,' said Margrit Li Lai-fan, the LCSD's chief leisure manager for New Territories West.

Ms Li said the scuffle occurred when the crowd turned on the officers, who had stopped the performers from using loudspeakers.

A man claiming to be a paramedic who attended the victim called an RTHK radio programme yesterday and said he believed it was the crowd who failed to help the man because they stood by and kept shouting at the officers.

'The crowd kept saying the LCSD killed the victim, and when I read the newspapers today I found the officers were accused of neglecting the victim,' said the man, who identified himself as Mr Mak.

'How could the officers help the victim when they were surrounded by a crowd and were involved in a scuffle? Did this crowd of more than 100 people consider giving help to the man?'

During the scuffle, three officers were slightly injured. They said their camera equipment was damaged during the incident.