Woman escapes being hit by falling metal panels at Changi building; BCA orders inspection

Some of the metal cladding panels that fell from WIS@Changi, a six-storey commercial building, on Thursday. One eyewitness, Mr Tay, who is an engineer, said: "I estimated each sheet of metal to measure about 1m by 2m, weigh around 60kg, and to be aro
Some of the metal cladding panels that fell from WIS@Changi, a six-storey commercial building, on Thursday. One eyewitness, Mr Tay, who is an engineer, said: "I estimated each sheet of metal to measure about 1m by 2m, weigh around 60kg, and to be around 7cm to 10cm thick."PHOTOS: MR TAY

BCA orders Changi building owner to cordon off affected area, carry out safety inspection

A number of heavy metal panels fell from a building in Changi last week, prompting the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) to order the owner to carry out a detailed investigation into the incident.

No one was reported to have been injured, although one eyewitness was quoted as saying that a woman had a narrow escape.

In response to media queries, the BCA yesterday said the structural integrity of the building was not affected by the incident, which occurred in 116 Changi Road at around 10am on Thursday. The site involved is WIS@Changi, a six-storey commercial building.

The Sunday Times contacted the building's managing agent, Property Facility Services, for more information.

"As an immediate precautionary measure, the affected area directly below the fallen metal cladding panels has been cordoned off," the BCA said.

The eyewitness, who works for an engineering firm in the building and wanted to be known only as Mr Tay, told The Sunday Times he and two colleagues were nearby when they heard a loud bang. They turned and saw three metal panels on the ground.

NARROW ESCAPE

There was a woman who had barely walked two steps from where the sheets fell when it happened. Had she been slightly slower, I shudder to think what could have happened.

MR TAY, an engineer working for a firm in the building. He and two colleagues were nearby when they heard a loud bang.

"We were in shock. There was a woman who had barely walked two steps from where the sheets fell when it happened. Had she been slightly slower, I shudder to think what could have happened," said the 40-year-old.

Mr Tay said he and his colleagues tried to move the panels away from the walkway.

"I estimated each sheet of metal to measure about 1m by 2m, weigh around 60kg, and to be around 7cm to 10cm thick," said Mr Tay, who is an engineer.

He added the building got its temporary occupation permit in 2015.

Mr Tay said the police and a BCA officer visited the scene after the incident. He added that on March 28, metal panels also fell from the building's facade.

  • 46

    Number of cases of fallen windows in the first 11 months of last year, higher than the annual average of 45 in the previous five years.

The BCA has said it had instructed the building owner to appoint a professional engineer to carry out a detailed investigation into the incident, inspect the condition of the remaining metal cladding panels and recommend rectification measures.

It has also asked the owner to cordon off areas below the building's facade with similar features while the inspection is being carried out.


Previous cases of falling objects

November 2018

A man suffered spinal injuries after he was struck by a falling plaster strip outside the Wanderlust Hotel in Little India. The strip, estimated to be 4m by 0.3m , fell from the second floor of the building.

November 2018

A window panel fell from the eighth storey of a Housing Board block of flats in Toa Payoh, narrowly missing a 78-year-old man. There were 46 cases of fallen windows in the first 11 months of last year, one more than the annual average of 45 cases in the previous five years.

October 2018

Pieces of glass rained down at Orchard Central shopping mall when two panels of its skylight broke. A contractor was doing repair work when a piece of aluminium accidentally dislodged, falling onto the skylight and shattering the glass panels.

June 2018

A decorative panel fell 40 storeys from the top of Block 10B Bendemeer Road. The authorities said it was part of the design of the HDB block's facade and was non-structural. The building was deemed to be structurally safe.

Goh Yan Han

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 07, 2019, with the headline 'Woman escapes being hit by falling metal panels'. Print Edition | Subscribe