Pedestrians outside Central's Bank of East Asia last year were in 'imminent danger' of being hit by slabs of falling concrete, the High Court heard yesterday. A design flaw was to blame for cracks that began appearing in granite cladding four years ago, John Scott QC, for the bank, told Mr Justice James Findlay. 'Between 1993 and 1996 the stress the system was under resulted in its total failure and dangerous state,' he said. The building's owners were forced to conduct emergency repairs to ensure the safety of passers-by, the court heard. 'There was a real risk of liability to passers-by if parts of the cladding were to have fallen off. Such a complaint was actually made by a neighbouring building owner,' Mr Scott said. The bank is suing advisers from the firm Palmer and Turner, and the Tsien Wui Marble Factory. The bank decided to redevelop the property in 1981 'to provide a prestigious flagship head office'. The case continues.