Decorative structure on HDB block in Pasir Ris falls from 8-storey height; no one injured

The decorative structure at Block 270 Pasir Ris Street 21 fell from a height of at least eight storeys on June 18, 2018.
The decorative structure at Block 270 Pasir Ris Street 21 fell from a height of at least eight storeys on June 18, 2018.PHOTO: YE RUOSHI

SINGAPORE - A decorative structure on a Housing Board block in Pasir Ris fell from a height of at least eight storeys on Monday morning (June 18).

The incident at Block 270 Pasir Ris Street 21 startled Ms Ye Ruoshi, who was feeding her three-month-old daughter at around 11am when she heard a loud crash that sounded like thunder.

"At first I thought it was thunder because it was drizzling, but it was such a loud crashing sound that we thought maybe something fell," the 45-year-old artist told The Straits Times.

The sound was so loud that it startled her daughter, who began to cry.

Ms Ye, who lives with her parents, went to her window to investigate the source of the noise, and saw neighbours pointing towards the block opposite her flat, she told ST.

"Thank God nobody was downstairs at the time," said Ms Ye, who also has three sons. She added that she took photos of the fallen structure to warn her children.

Within an hour, she saw police officers arriving at the scene to cordon off the area with tape.

At around 3pm, Pasir Ris-Punggol MP Zainal Sapari posted on Facebook about the incident, saying that there was no injury.

He added that police and the town council's representatives are at the site, along with officers from the Housing Board's technical department.

"Cause of damage is still under investigation," he added.

Part of the roof of a covered linkway near Block 270 Pasir Ris Street 21 fell earlier this year, resident Ye Ruoshi told The Straits Times. PHOTO: YE RUOSHI

The Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council and HDB told ST that they were informed about the incident at noon on Monday. 

A spokesman said: "The panel is part of the façade design and is non-structural. The building is structurally safe." 

She added that the town council will be repairing the damage as well as taking additional precautions by checking neighbouring blocks with similar features.

 The town council has also cleared the debris and cordoned off the area beneath the affected facade.

Ms Ye told ST that a similar incident with a covered walkway in the estate occurred earlier this year. Part of the roof fell from the linkway, leaving a hole that has yet to be repaired, she said.

In September 2016, a concrete sunshade was partially dislodged from a Housing Board flat in Tampines. It was later found that there were no rebars on the side of the sunshade that dislodged, following an investigation by a professional engineer engaged by the Tampines Town Council. 

By late October that year, it was reported that parts of housing blocks have fallen off on at least three occasions over the past two months.