BUILDING SAFETY
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Henderson Land

Hong Kong developer to carry out safety inspections of its buildings in wake of balcony collapse

Henderson Land confirms hiring two independent firms to check structures

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 June, 2017, 8:03am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 June, 2017, 8:03am

A Hong Kong land developer has pledged to carry out safety inspections on its other buildings in an area where a balcony at a 61-year-old block collapsed during heavy rain on Wednesday.

Henderson Land, which has acquired dozens of blocks in Hung Hom in Kowloon, has hired two independent engineering consultancy firms to check the structural safety of its buildings there.

That came after part of an enclosed balcony floor and wall of a second-floor flat of the developer’s acquired building on Gillies Avenue South crashed to the ground. Building residents escaped injury.

Following the incident, the Buildings Department issued an order for a detailed investigation into the condition of the building’s structure.

A Henderson Land spokeswoman said: “We have hired two firms to inspect and follow up on other buildings in the district.” She confirmed the developer’s wider inspection plan first revealed by Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan.

Wong and the party’s district councillor, Yuen Hoi-man, met the developer’s executive director, Augustine Wong Ho-ming, on Friday to discuss the safety of other old buildings the firm had acquired in the district.

Helena Wong said Henderson Land had acquired more than 2,000 flats covering 110,000 sq ft over six Hung Hom streets. However, the developer’s spokeswoman declined to confirm this information.

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The lawmaker welcomed the developer’s inspection plan. She urged the department and other developers to inspect any buildings that were 50 years old or above to prevent similar accidents.

She said her party would meet the development minister and director of buildings to discuss the safety of old buildings and current regulation loopholes.