KUALA LUMPUR: Structural failure is likely to have triggered the partial collapse of an under-construction condominium in Taman Desa yesterday, not heavy rain or landslides.
Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad said preliminary reports by the authorities had confirmed this.
“There was no landslide or soil movement. The building also collapsed before the rain.
“There is a huge possibility that the structure failed as it was not strong enough. The foundations, beams or columns may not have followed specifications as the slab gave way and collapsed from the sixth to the first floor,” he said, while dismissing speculations that it occurred due to heavy rain on the day of the incident.
Khalid, however said that further investigation would be done to establish the cause of the collapse.
He said the project’s contractors had also appointed their own civil structure consultant to survey the site. The Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) was also conducting investigations.
“We will wait for this and in the meantime, Kuala Lumpur City Hall will also conduct investigations,” he told the press during a community programme at the Seri Perak flats in Sentul here today.
A stop-work order was ordered by Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan immediately after the incident, and for now, only parties investigating the incident were be allowed on the site.
Yesterday a portion of the ‘The Address’ which has been partially built collapsed at about 3.30pm during a heavy downpour.
Khalid said “the issue is a question of enforcement and checks,” and while monitoring and enforcement of safe practices during the building process was the role of the contractor and DOSH, City Hall was responsible for breaches to the approved building designs.
“At the end of the day, there is no such a thing as the contractor wanting to cut corners or shortcuts. Nobody gains from such incidents.
“A stop work order of a week could mean big losses for a company,” he said, adding that fortunately the building was unoccupies.
He hoped that contractors would follow the planning, design, building and construction requirements. He said cranes, concrete filling and laying reinforcements were all bound by strict procedures.
Khalid, however explained that yesterday’s incident was an isolated case and not related to a previous one at the same site which was categorised as a safety issue.
On Jan 23, 2018, a crane toppled onto its side during construction and caused damage to an adjoining property, Tiara Faber Condominium.
The Address is a 202-unit, low-density residential project on a rise next to a public school, and it began construction at the end of 2017.
Earlier, Taman Desa residents complained of noise pollution and of the developer ignoring construction conditions set by the City Hall.
Two workers were initially trapped after yesterday’s incident.
The first victim, aged 30, was found among the debris on the first floor of the building at 5.15pm, while the second, aged 26, was pulled out from the rubble at 9.30pm.
The two workers, believed to be from Bangladesh, were working when a large portion of the sixth floor of the building came tumbling down at 3.30pm.
Earlier today, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the lifting of the stop-work order was pending investigation by DOSH. The findings of the investigation were expected to be known in a month.