SDP Warning: Ensure Structral Safety of HDB Blocks before Injury or Death Results

A decorative panel fell 40 storeys from an HDB block in Bendemeer Road “with a loud crash” next to a playground.

Luckily, no one was injured. The mishap could have been deadly – involving children.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, HDB and the Jalan Besar Town Council (JBTC) said: “The panel is part of the block facade design and is non-structural. The building is structurally safe.”

We don’t know what questions the newspaper asked but clearly HDB and JBTC gave a non-answer. Everyone knows that the panel is part of the block’s facade and no one has asked whether the building is in danger of collapsing.

What the people want to know is why was the structure in such a sorry state with pieces falling off with the potential of causing harm to passers-by.

And this is not the first such incident.

Just days before, a part of an HDB block’s decorative cladding fell off its facade at Block 270 in Pasir Ris town. A resident said that it sounded like a “very loud cluster of thunder.”

Again, HDB and the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council gave the standard non-answer that “a piece of decorative cladding had dislodged from the facade” of the block and that “the building is structurally safe.”

There were several other similar incidents:

25 September 2016, a concrete slab broke off from Block 201E at Tampines.

19 October 2016, a cladding panel fell off Block 51, Circuit Road.

29 November 2016, a slab of plaster fell 12 storeys from an HDB block in Hougang.

1 April 2017, two aluminium panels fell off an HDB block at Indus Road.

The authorities said that the cladding panels broke off due to wear and tear. But the buildings involved are relative new. Yet, pieces are breaking off and endangering public safety.

HDB blocks have also been plagued with faulty lifts that have resulted in residents being injured including one death.

The painful fact is that the quality of construction of HDB buildings is compromised. HDB should stop saying that the buildings are structurally safe because they are not. The problem has not been satisfactorily resolved.

The SDP sounds a clear warning for the government to take urgent and comprehensive action to ensure the structural safety of HDB buildings before injury or, worse, death results.


Singapore Democrats



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10 Responses to “SDP Warning: Ensure Structral Safety of HDB Blocks before Injury or Death Results”

  • Whose fault:

    Deaths and serious injuries among construction workers have risen too.
    Who should be responsible?

    GD Star Rating
  • Jin Hsieh Lan:

    What HDB and TCs meant is – no injury, no death; residents are safe, building is safe, everyone and everything are safe, don’t need complain.

    Only when there’s injury or death or the building came falling down like London Bridge then they’ll give a different reply and move their butts to take action.

    Now I know why oppositions didn’t win in these constituencies. It’s heaven’s will, otherwise all these incidents would be blamed on the oppositions had they taken over from the PAP.

    GD Star Rating
  • Bapak:

    Their answer is what Chinese says “read dead book”. Next time, your windows fall off, you can use the same answer. Not part of the structure.

    GD Star Rating
  • Someone responsible:

    All those “facade” decorations are
    1. waste of money and
    2. danger waiting to happen.

    More will fall off when the glue and screws age and fail.

    Shouldn’t someone be responsible for putting up such dangers?

    These slap-on facade decorations need regular checks and maintenance. Poor citizens going to foot the bill.

    GD Star Rating
  • HarderTruths:

    There is deeper-rooted problem here.

    The ‘no-responsibility’ clause in any pappy undertaking.
    Cheapest construction, cheapest design, cheapest maintenance means cheapest coffin.

    Ownself bury onself.

    GD Star Rating
  • Idulespaganupowder:

    Their answer is what Chinese says “read dead book”.

    You “ laugh die me” lah!

    GD Star Rating
  • LIONS:

    The breaking down of Hdb flats foundation is similar to the breaking down of our Social Fabric.

    The lee ah long cabinet is a *BROKEN* piece of furniture.

    Discard it.
    Bring in a NEW *CABINET*.

    GD Star Rating
  • Rabble-rouser:

    Something is very wrong about the present day construction industry & the HDB. The standards of construction, supervision & the quality assurance have been sorely lacking. The Bendemeer HDB flat is a relatively new building because it is over 40 storeys high. The fact that the facade dropped 40 storeys down and landed next to a playground is worrisome. The next time, it could be horrendous casualties especially children. How can this be happening? Why the lackadaisical attitude of the HDB?
    What happens when S’pore continues to build higher & higher HDB buildings. If things could break off – imagine a tall building breaking apart & falling down taking residents living inside with them. It could very well happen given the propensity for falling objects!

    GD Star Rating
  • NotMyProblem:

    Do you remember, in one Town Council, one worker was also a supervisor and the TC was so proud about it?

    GD Star Rating
  • Bobo:

    Cheap, good and fast workers are the trend. Safety is not a priority. When service is done, checked, accepted and signed based on its look, the deal is closed. What can you do with TC and HDB or the officer-in-charge?

    GD Star Rating

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