Fireworks security open to changes

SECURITY measures are already in place for the fireworks display during Chinese New Year.

But they may be changed depending on the outcome of the interim report into the Lan Kwai Fong tragedy by Mr Justice Bokhary.

Organisers of the display yesterday said they would adopt any changes that were necessary.

The report is due on January 18.

An estimated one million revellers are expected to line both sides of Victoria Harbour on the evening of January 24 when more than 10,000 rockets will light up the sky in a $31/2 million display to ring in the Year of the Rooster.

Crowd control planning has been under way since early last year and organisers are confident that controls are adequate.

They said the fireworks display had operated for 12 years with only one tragedy - the ferry collision two years ago which left two people dead.

The display to mark Chinese New Year is also a different type of celebration to Lan Kwai Fong, said the chairman of the Urban Council's entertainment select committee, Mr Chan Kwok-Ming.

''There are a lot of convenient spots on both sides of Victoria Harbour to see the fireworks. Lan Kwai Fong was a tiny area where a lot of people gathered,'' Mr Chan said. ''The display is a territory-wide festive programme.'' All relevant government departments, including police, marine, transport and Urban Services, met to discuss changes to their crowd handling strategy, Mr Chan said.

A series of bulletins is expected from each of the 10 departments in the run-up to January 24 announcing specific control measures.

The Marine Department is expected to impose restrictions in the harbour.