Singapore – Residents of a HDB (Housing & Development Board) block in Tampines are worried about the state of their building after experiencing concrete falling off two pillars along the corridor.
Large cracks could be seen forming on many of the concrete pillars along the fourth-floor corridor of Block 915 Tampines Street 91, reported Chinese afternoon newspaper Lianhe Wanbao on Thursday (Nov 19). The reinforced steel beams of the pillars have also been exposed, causing worry among the residents.
According to one resident who has lived in the building for 20 years, he noticed that the concrete had fallen off the pillar in front of his flat and landed on his shoe rack earlier this year. His family’s concern grew after seeing more cracks appearing along the pillars in recent months.
There are six units on the fourth floor and residents have expressed worry that falling concrete could injure passers-by.
On July 12 of this year, a similar incident occurred along Tampines Street 12 when a man bringing his bicycle home heard a loud crash behind him. Turning to identify the cause of the sound, the 68-year-old resident was surprised to see that a concrete slab had shattered into several pieces on the ground.
A traumatized security guard told Shin Min Daily News that if the concrete slab had fallen a few seconds earlier, it would have hit the passing individual.
Breaking concrete is a common concern among ageing buildings such as HDB flats built more than two decades ago. The establishments in Tampines Street 91 and 12 were built in 1984 and 1983, respectively.
The Tampines Town Council had informed media queries that it is aware of spalling concrete in Tampines Street 12. “For the safety of the residents, we have cleaned up and cordoned off the area,” said the TC to AsiaOne. A quick visual assessment of the incident shows the fallen concrete was caused by the corrosion of steel reinforcement bars. Moisture buildup at that spot of the façade could have led to the breakdown, added the TC.
Meanwhile, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) confirmed in a straitstimes.com report on Thursday that the cracks on the pillars of the HDB block in Tampines Street 91 do not affect the overall structural integrity of the building. The BCA had inspected the area and advised the TC to carry out necessary rectification works.
In response to the news, members from the public expressed concern over the structure of the building and the passers-by’s safety. “Hope HDB takes the right action fast before something bad happens,” said Facebook user Megan Ou.
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