Newspapers and cement bags used as wall filling at Ubi industrial block

Mr Benedict Francis saw cement bags used as a filler in the wall of the cargo lift landing at the third storey of Block 3016 Ubi Road 1 on Nov 30, 2018.
Mr Benedict Francis saw cement bags used as a filler in the wall of the cargo lift landing at the third storey of Block 3016 Ubi Road 1 on Nov 30, 2018.PHOTO: BENEDICT FRANCIS

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - Running an errand, Mr Benedict Francis went to Block 3016 Ubi Road 1 on Nov 30, where he was in for a shock.

He saw cement bags used as a filler in the wall of the cargo lift landing at the third storey of the industrial building.

Mr Francis, who works in sales, said: "I had the shock of my life. I've read about past incidences at HDB blocks.

"Such practices shouldn't be allowed and someone should alert the authorities because something needs to be done."

He visited the site again last Tuesday and witnessed the same thing at the second and fourth storey.

It turns out newspapers and cement paper bags were used as fillers and they were exposed when replacement works started towards the end of last month on one of the two cargo lifts in the building.

Cement bags were found on the building's second and third storey, while rolled-up Chinese newspapers were used as a filler for the wall on the highest floor, the fourth storey.

 
 

Responding to queries from The New Paper, a JTC spokesman said the paper filling does not affect the structural safety of the building, but such practices are not accepted.

"The stuffing of paper in the wall above the lift is not an acceptable method. We are investigating the matter and will take the necessary action should errant behaviour be found," she said.

"There are no structural safety concerns. As there is currently an ongoing replacement project for all the lifts in the building, the exposed portion of the wall in question will be removed in order to accommodate the increased height of the new lift."

The building is meant for light industrial use and was built in the 1980s, according to JTC Corporation, which owns it.

A spokesman for the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said: "Our engineers have inspected the building and the structural safety of the building as well as the safety of the lift are not affected by the fillers.

"BCA would like to remind all builders and contractors to use appropriate construction materials as fillers."

In August, newspapers were found in the sidewalls of a balcony in an HDB flat, and two months later, paper wrappers were found stuffed inside a wall at a lift landing in an HDB block in Woodlands.

Mr Chu Chiang Yong, an engineer from the Civil and Structural Engineering Technical Committee at The Institution of Engineers, Singapore, believes workers took a short cut to get the job done in the latest incident.