HK launches aged building inspection blitz after collapse incident

21:43, February 01, 2010      

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The Buildings Department of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Monday started to inspect 4,000 buildings aged over 50 throughout the city in a month-long safety check after a building collapse incident last Friday.

In the wake of last week's building collapse at Ma Tau Wai Road, 40 special teams of professional and technical staff have been set up for the inspection, the department said.

The inspection will be completed within a month and followed up with the needed remedial action.

A five-story apartment building of more than 50 years old in Hung Hom, Hong Kong's Kowloon district, collapsed suddenly Friday afternoon. Four people were confirmed dead in the accident.

Director of Buildings Au Choi-kai said on Monday steel frames will be erected at the collapse site as shoring to stabilize a severely damaged building, which is next to the collapsed building.

For the safety of residents in the adjoining buildings, the department will temporarily close several nearby buildings, shops and flats until stabilizing works are completed within two weeks.

The Home Affairs Department has opened the Henry G Leong Yau Ma Tei Community Center for residents affected by the arrangements.

Charities are offering financial aid to the residents through the Social Welfare Department. The Jockey Club Charities Trust will offer 20,000 HK dollars to each affected household to acquire daily necessities and help them through the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.

Source: Xinhua
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