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NParks says unsafe to explore Coney Island at night after visitors seen stranded behind closed gates

NParks says unsafe to explore Coney Island at night after visitors seen stranded behind closed gates

Screengrabs of the video showing some visitors stranded on Coney Island after the park gates closed at 7pm. (Video: Facebook/John Han)

SINGAPORE: It is not safe to explore Coney Island after 7pm, the National Parks Board (NParks) reminded the public on Tuesday (Jan 25) after a video of visitors stranded inside the park was circulated on social media.

At least 10 people, including two children, were seen waiting behind the closed gate of Coney Island Park in a Facebook video posted on Saturday night by a user named John Han.

Responding to CNA's queries on Tuesday, Mr Chia Seng Jiang, NParks group director for parks east, said the board was aware of the incident involving some people who were "unable to exit" the park.

The gates to the park were closed at 7pm, said Mr Chia. He added that the opening hours for Coney Island Park are shown on signs at the entry gates and shelters in the park.

A check by CNA also showed the opening hours stated on NParks' website, with the note that "gates will be closed at 7pm".

"Our park security arrived within the hour to open the gates for them to exit," Mr Chia added.

Entrance to a Coney Island trail. (Photo: NParks)

Mr Chia said that Coney Island Park is not artificially lighted and is closed to the public from 7pm to 7am so that the nocturnal wildlife on the island have a natural environment to thrive in.

He noted that the park has rich biodiversity, including coastal forests, grasslands, mangroves and casuarina woodlands.

The park also houses a wide variety of fauna and flora, some of which are critically endangered, he said.

"As there are no lights on the island, it is also not safe for visitors to explore after 7pm, as they might get lost or put themselves at risk," said Mr Chia.

"NParks would like to remind all park visitors to respect the opening hours of our parks, and for their safety, to adhere to advisories on-site," he added.

Source: CNA/dv(zl)

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