Builder fined HK$10,000 for part in To Kwa Wan building collapse

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 March, 2013, 6:49pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 March, 2013, 7:07pm

A 77-year-old former repairman who was deemed partly responsible for a building collapse that killed four people in To Kwa Wan three years ago was fined HK$10,000 in Kowloon City Court on Wednesday.

Chu Wai-wing, owner of Wai Wing Construction Decoration Company, had earlier been found guilty of breaching building regulations by carrying out work likely to cause injury to people and damage to property.

The maximum penalty for the offence is three years in jail and a HK$1 million fine.

Chu had, without using supports, chiselled a column and platform in the 55-year-old tenement building before it collapsed in January 2010.

In sentencing, Magistrate Abu Bakar bin said there was only evidence that Chu carried out the works in the week preceding the fatal accident, but it was not sufficient to establish that the work had caused the collapse.

After the sentence, Chu said it was unfair that he was the only one to be blamed for the accident.

“The Buildings Department should take the major responsibility,” he said. “Its surveyors inspected the building and they said it [the work proposed] was safe even though the columns had cracks.”

Chu was an unregistered contractor at the time and is the only person brought to trial over the fatal accident.

He said he now lived on a social welfare allowance and could only use the allowance to pay the fine.