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Glass paneling from fire hotel crashes down

Post Time:Apr 24,2012Classify:Industry NewsView:300


A large chunk of glass paneling fell from the 43rd floor of the Harbour Grand Hong Kong in North Point onto a construction site. No one was injured.


The incident came two days after a fire, believed to have been caused by a short-circuit in a big LED advertising display, gutted the hotel's rooftop.


The exterior glass paneling, measuring two meters by three meters, was located one floor below the rooftop where there are no guest rooms.


Yesterday's incident sparked concerns over the danger of similar glass panels being affected by a third-alarm fire.


Hong Kong Institution of Engineers president Chan Fuk-cheung believed the glass paneling probably fell because its supporting structure was distorted by the heat.


"Tempered glass might be tough on the surface, but its weak points are at the sides and corners," he said.


When glass is subjected to temperatures of more than 200 degrees Celsius, it is less capable of resisting outside wind pressure, resulting in cracks appearing in the paneling. He said similar structures near the hotel should be inspected.


The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said LED display boards on top of buildings should be regulated as they can pose a safety hazard.


A spokesman for the Buildings Department said it checked the structure and believed it was safe but it asked the hotel to put up scaffolding and safety nets to cover the top floors. It also asked the hotel to either remove or fix loose fittings and similar glass panels. A hotel spokesman said it will continue to work with the various departments to ensure the safety of their customers and passersby.


Some sections of Oil Street, Fook Yum Road and King Wah Road where the hotel - jointly owned by Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong (Holdings) - is situated have been cordoned off

Source: http://www.thestandard.com.hkAuthor: shangyi

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