THE judge conducting the inquiry into the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy yesterday vowed to introduce safety recommendations in time for the Lunar New Year, when hundreds of thousands of people will flock to both sides of the harbour for a fireworks display. On the first day of his inquiry, Mr Justice Bokhary said he hoped to complete an interim report by January 18, giving authorities four days to consider any lessons on crowd control. While promising swift action, Mr Justice Bokhary said: ''It is not my job to find people to blame for the sake of blaming them.'' He added: ''But it is quite impossible to go into precisely what happened, why you think it happened and what you think should be done to prevent it from happening in the future without saying something, which at least some people will regard as relevant to responsibility.'' His announcement came on the heels of news that 17-year-old victim Lai Wai-shun was pronounced brain stem dead yesterday at Queen Mary Hospital. The boy's family has to decide whether to switch off his life support machine in the intensive care unit. Mr Justice Bokhary walked through Lan Kwai Fong yesterday afternoon with Central Divisional Commander, Superintendent Mr Kenny Chow Yin-wo. As the tour wound its way down D'Aguilar Street, Mr Chow recounted the frightening details of the tragic evening. Mr Justice Bokhary's questions focused on the deployment of police, crowd conditions, the state of the roads and the flow of traffic through the narrow cobbled streets. Mr Chow told him the streets were crowded to capacity, contradicting earlier police reports suggesting they were not filled. And he said that at least three people were dead before rescuers were able to get through the estimated crowd of 15,000 jammed tightly into D'Aguilar Street where it is joined by Lan Kwai Fong, Wing Wah Lane and Wo On Lane. ''At the scene, my officers told me that there were three or four dead already,'' Mr Chow said. ''The victims looked peaceful or drunk. When they reached the hospital, there were already 20 dead.'' The surface of the roads played a strong part in the deaths, Mr Chow said. A mixture of spilled beer, champagne and spray string foam produced an unusually slippery surface, making walking difficult. When one person fell, the packed crowd simply reacted in a domino effect. The terms of reference for Mr Justice Bokhary's inquiry call for the investigation of the circumstances which led to the tragedy, a review of the crowd control arrangements including the deployment of emergency personnel, to make recommendations to prevent future incidents and to present an interim report by January 18 with a final report as soon as possible. Mr Justice Bokhary said he intended issuing daily bulletins on the progress of the inquiry. He would also visit hospitals over the next two weeks and attempt to review media coverage of the event. He would also seek out anyone with relevant information from that evening, including the Lan Kwai Fong Tenants' Association. The group has been at the centre of a storm of controversy over the event and is to appoint a Queen's Counsel to prepare a detailed list of proposals to submit to Mr Justice Bokhary's inquiry. The move, hammered out in an emergency meeting yesterday of association members, is expected to be announced today. Also expected to be announced will be plans for a memorial ceremony for the victims. Both Chinese and Western customs will be observed, with Thursday marking the seventh day since the tragedy - the day the spirits of the dead ascend to heaven. Hard proposals on the future of the nightclub area were not discussed at the meeting, but all members were urged to submit opinions and gather ideas from staff and customers. The lawyer would be asked to examine submissions in line with fire regulations and liquor laws in a bid to both prevent further incidents and protect business interests. Each bar, club and restaurant has to fulfil fire regulations which stipulate how many people are allowed per square foot, depending on the type of liquor licence and building structure. ''The first priority is to work to ensure nothing like this happens in Hongkong again, but they also want to show to the people of Hongkong that they are professional,'' one source said. As the inquiry continues, two legal sources have come out in support of the terms of reference issued for Mr Justice Bokhary to follow. On the question of recommendations, legislator Mr Howard Young of the Co-operative Resources Centre said the inquiry had an opportunity to review much wider issues. ''If Mr Justice Bokhary takes a wider view, then he will have more to look at like transportation, pedestrian flow, drinking in public and crowd control,'' he said. While time is short, Mr Young added that the report should be seen as the beginning of a series of reviews which would have wide implications for other events such as horse racing and the Rugby Sevens. The legal functional constituency representative, Mr Simon Ip Sik-on, agreed that the inquiry has been given a wide mandate. ''The whole point is to learn from this tragedy,'' he said. Mr Ip said the report would not be pushed aside when it was completed as the Legislative Council's Security Panel, of which he is deputy-convenor, would look carefully at the recommendations to ensure such accidents are avoided in the future.