Concrete piece from Clementi apartment roof falls 40 floors to playground in the rain

The playground at Trivelis in Clementi Avenue 4 remained cordoned off on Saturday (Nov 18).
The playground at Trivelis in Clementi Avenue 4 remained cordoned off on Saturday (Nov 18).PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS
A message purportedly sent by the town council says that no one was hurt in the incident.
A message purportedly sent by the town council says that no one was hurt in the incident.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS READER

SINGAPORE - A piece of concrete fell 40 storeys from the roof of a Clementi HDB development, landing on the playground below.

Shin Min Daily News reported on Saturday (Nov 18) that the incident occurred around 5pm on Thursday at the Trivelis, a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project in Clementi Avenue 4.

The developer, EL Development (ELD), told The Sunday Times that lightning struck the rooftop of Block 311C, resulting in a piece of concrete dislodging from the precast concrete facade.

“Fortunately, no one was at the playground as it was raining heavily,” said the spokesman. It added that a professional engineer has inspected and certified that the building is structurally sound.

The Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council, however, refuted the developer’s claim regarding lightning.


The piece of concrete fell 40 storeys. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO READER

In a statement yesterday evening, a town council spokesman said: “We wish to inform residents that the town council does not yet share this view as investigations are ongoing. Residents’ safety is of utmost importance to us, and we have a duty to ensure that any conclusions are drawn correctly.”

Workers have also been sent to clear any loose debris on the rooftop for safety reasons.

The playground, which is ringed by Blocks 311A, B and C, is still cordoned off as a precautionary measure.

The town council, in its statement, advised residents to avoid the playground. “For the time being, we continue to advise residents not to enter the cordoned-off areas,” it said.

The developer said that both the Building and Construction Authority and the Housing Board have visited the site.

The Sunday Times has contacted both agencies for more information.

Engineer Tao Jie, who lives at the Trivelis with his wife and two children, said he saw multiple pieces scattered on the ground, some as big as watermelons.

 

“It if hit someone, it would probably kill him... I am worried about my wife and eight-year-old walking downstairs now,” he said.

Mr Tao, 37, and his family moved into the four-room flat in 2015, and said there have been many quality issues. “It looks nothing like the showroom. We told ELD about the issues, but they didn’t solve them,” he said.

This is not the first time that the Trivelis has been in the news over building woes.

In 2015, residents complained about defects such as defective store knobs, rusty dish racks and poor-quality laminated flooring.

ELD responded then by offering goodwill packages and the installation of fixtures to address the complaints.

They included putting in new drainage pipes to prevent flash flooding and replacing shattered shower screens.