Three charged in wake of collapse

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 July, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 July, 1995, 12:00am

THREE people are to be prosecuted following the Aberdeen canopy collapse last August which killed an 80-year-old newspaper vendor and injured 12 others.

However, illegal alterations being made by the three at the time of the collapse are not blamed for the tragedy, whose cause dates from construction.

The Buildings Department issued summonses to Wong Kay-on, the owner and sole proprietor of the Hang On Transportation Company, and two workers, Wong Kai-loi and Tse Chi-ping. They have been charged with carrying out unauthorised demolition work at the New Best Restaurant, Albert House.

The restaurant has been summonsed on the same charge which has a maximum penalty of two years' jail and a $100,000 fine.

All defendants will appear in Eastern Court on August 15. 'We have . . . found that certain persons have to answer for not abiding by the Buildings Ordinance,' said assistant director of buildings Cheng Wei-dart.

The two workers were renovating the first floor restaurant at 12 Sai On Street and 20-28 Chengtu Street when the 12-tonne canopy crashed on to the pavement.

An official report, however, found the alterations did not contribute.

Instead the inquiry revealed the main cause to be the steel reinforcing bars between the canopy and main wall of Albert House which had been wrongly placed during construction.

These had put extra stress on the canopy causing it to crack allowing rain and possibly sea water from a fish tank to corrode the steel.

Tests showed the canopy had not had any proper maintenance during its 21-year lifetime.