Tiles from HDB block exterior dislodge and crash five floors down with loud “explosion” sound

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Some tiles from the exterior of a HDB block in Hougang dislodged and crashed five floors down with a loud “explosion” sound, according to a witness who was nearby. The incident occurred during a heavy downpour yesterday around 7.40pm at Block 462 Hougang Avenue 10.

The witness, line dance teacher Tay, told reporters that she had been practising line dance with a student at the void deck of the block when the tiles dislodged from the exterior of the building’s fifth floor and fell with a loud noise. Tay recounted:

“I thought someone had thrown something down. We went to take a look. I realised that some tiles had fallen off the wall. There was debris all over the ground. Some pieces also fell into the void deck.”

Tay, who called her husband to the scene where he alerted Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, revealed that the tiles shattered into several pieces after it crashed on the ground. She added: “My husband and I stayed there to wait for help to arrive. We wanted to warn residents because there was debris in the void deck, and could end up hurting someone’s feet.”

Soon after, around 8.20pm, a worker came and cordoned off the area after surveying the damage and taking a photo of the damage and debris.

Before Tay and her husband left around 8.40pm, the worker allegedly told her that the debris will be cleared off by this coming Monday. Tay said that her husband requested the worker to remove the debris as soon as possible since residents could get hurt by the shattered and sharp tiles.

Just last week, a piece of decorative panel fell 40 storeys from a HDB block at Bendemeer Road and landed with a “loud crash” beside a playground. That was not the first incident of pieces falling off HDB blocks.

In September 2016, a concrete slab dislodged from Block 201E at Tampines while a cladding panel broke off Block 51, Circuit Road less than a month later. A month after that, a slab of plaster dropped 12 storeys down a HDB block in Hougang.

Then in April 2017, two aluminium panels fell off an HDB block at Indus Road. In the most recent case before the Bendemeer Road incident, a piece of cladding fell off Block 270 in Pasir Ris town with a sound similar to a “very loud cluster of thunder,” according to a resident.

The Pasir Ris cladding incident occurred mere days before the panel fell off the flat in Bendemeer Road.

Panel that fell 40 storeys from HDB block is one of several incidents of pieces falling off flats and endangering the public