Concrete slab smashes through Hougang flat's canopy, nearly hitting girl

A man and his daughter were terrified after a piece of concrete smashed through the canopy of the balcony in their Hougang home on Monday (May 16).

It nearly hit the nine-year-old girl who was in the living room located next to the balcony, the man surnamed Hou told Lianhe Zaobao.

The concrete slab was about 40cm long and 10cm wide.

“Fortunately, there was no one on the balcony at the time,” the 43-year-old homeowner told the Chinese daily. “If it had hit anyone in the house or below us, it would’ve been dangerous.” 

It was raining heavily that evening, Hou said. He heard a loud crash from the balcony and found a piece of concrete lying among scattered soil from potted plants he had placed there.

In response to AsiaOne’s queries, a spokesperson from Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC) said that they were alerted to this incident at 8.51pm on Monday.

“A piece of concrete fell and landed at the balcony of a maisonette unit located at level two of Block 455 Hougang Avenue 10, damaging part of its canopy,” the spokesperson said.

After AMKTC arrived on scene, they cordoned off the affected area immediately.

The following day, the town council conducted an inspection on the flat as well as the external facade of the block.

During the inspection, the professional engineer found that “an external portion of the rear balcony parapet wall reinforced coping had spalled due to a corrosion of the reinforcement bar,” the spokesperson said.

“It is non-structural in nature and will not affect the building’s structural integrity,” the spokesperson explained, adding that the town council has made arrangements to repair the affected area.

AMKTC said residents’ safety and well-being are its top priorities, and it will be inspecting the external facade of the surrounding 23 blocks to prevent the recurrence of such an incident.

According to the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act and the Building Control Act, town councils are responsible for facade maintenance of HDB blocks.

A similar situation happened in July 2020 where a concrete slab fell off an external facade — also due to corrosion of the reinforcement bar — nearly hitting a passing 68-year-old man on the ground floor.

READ ALSO: BCA investigating after parts of Bedok industrial building’s concrete roof crash to the ground


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