Singapore

Woman, 70, almost hit by parts of falling ceiling

A 70-year-old who got up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet got a rude shock when parts of the kitchen ceiling crashed to the floor in front of her.

The incident happened at Block 51, Marine Terrace, on Monday at about 2.30am, Shin Min Daily News reported yesterday.

Retiree Chen Xiuying told Shin Min she was going to the toilet when a large slab fell from the kitchen ceiling, about 2m away from her.

The slab was about an inch thick, with the total surface area of the broken pieces "about the size of a mahjong table", Madam Chen said.

"I'm lucky - if I were any earlier, I could have been hit by the concrete," she said.

She now uses an umbrella as a shield when she goes to the toilet.

Madam Chen's husband, retiree Li Zhanwu, said they have lived in the two-room rental flat for 18 years.

"It is so fortunate that no one was hurt, but I hope this will not happen again," he said.

Woman, 70, almost hit by parts of falling ceiling
The slab was about an inch thick PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

The Straits Times understands there was a prior incident of spalling concrete in the couple's flat.

The Housing Board told The Straits Times yesterday that they received feedback on the incident and dispatched officers to the flat immediately.

"The incident arose from spalling concrete, which is largely due to a natural deterioration process which may occur in older buildings.

"In this case, the flat is 43 years old," said its spokesman.

HDB said its officers have cleared the debris and will carry out repair works in the unit.

"As this is a rental flat, we will bear the full cost of repair. We will continue to keep in close touch with the couple and do our best to assist them," said the HDB spokesman.

It added that spalling concrete could arise from wear and tear of building materials as flats age.

HDB stressed that it is important for residents to carry out regular checks and repairs in their flats to keep them in good condition.

Those who need more information or assistance on the repair of spalling concrete are advised to contact HDB.

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