Home > HK
Friday, May 20, 2016, 17:33

Probe launched into collapsed roof at CityU campus

By Shadow Li in Hong Kong

Probe launched into collapsed roof at CityU campus
Firemen continue with the search efforts Friday evening. (Parker Zheng/China Daily)

City authorities are investigating whether the vegetation on a rooftop garden is linked to the collapse of the rooftop of a sports complex at the City University of Hong Kong Friday afternoon.

The abrupt collapse of the rooftop, which had a garden with about 1,400 square meters’ vegetation, resulted in three people being injured. The injured are two men — a campus facility manager and a maintenance worker, and a woman — a 43-year-old school canteen manager.

Chan Tai Ho Multi-purpose Hall, now covered with debris of the ceiling and the rooftop garden, is located on the fifth floor of the Hu Fa Kuang Sports Centre.

The cause of the collapse is still under investigation. But senior building surveyor of the Buildings Department Robert Cheng said the investigation would examine whether rooftop vegetation is a possible cause.

Cheng ruled out further risks of collapse of the building, after more than 60 firemen and rescue team members inspected the structure. Firefighters got into the collapsed areas by using a rope with a pulley to slide from the edge of the rooftop which is still attached to the building.

Probe launched into collapsed roof at CityU campus
Source: City University of Hong Kong

Station Commander of the Mong Kok Fire Station Lam Ming-yip, speaking after the preliminary investigation, said the metal rack supporting the ceiling had fallen on the floor of the stadium, blocking all entry to the stadium. It took the rescue team a long time to get into the affected area.

"The air wave caused by the collapse forced the two men, who were preparing for an event on Saturday, to be ejected and to hit objects next to them. The woman was in shock and felt unwell,” said Lam. All of them, were taken to Caritas Medical Centre in Cheung Sha Wan, suffering from minor injuries.

Luckily, there were no major activities going on in the stadium. Firemen used life detectors to search for other possible victims. Four ambulances and a sniffer dog were also deployed.

Hu Xuetao, a senior student at the university, who just walked out of the Academic Building 1 on the right side of the sports center, said he saw dust whipped up by the wind after hearing a thud. Although he escaped quickly, he had dust and debris all over him.

The university’s student-run Website City Broadcasting Channel on its Facebook account cited a student complaining about falling objects from the roof when taking an exam early this week.

Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-him, speaking after having inspected the scene, said the school will hand in an extensive report on the collapse in two weeks. Ng said the center has been in use for more than 20 years. The university is also checking other buildings.

It confirmed that no other people had been found trapped inside the hall. The exam season at the school ended earlier this week.

Sinoway Construction Engineering is the subcontractor for the green project. The company is also in charge of another green project for the rooftop of Wei Hing Theatre at the same university.

Chief-of-Staff of the University Administration Paul Lam Kwan-sing said the school had already closed the theater and conducted security checks on Friday evening.

Probe launched into collapsed roof at CityU campus
This photo on May 20, 2016 shows the collapsed rooftop of the Chan Tai Ho Multi-purpose Hall of the City University of Hong Kong. (Parker Zheng/ China Daily)

Latest News