Architectural Services Department submits metal gate investigation report

The Architectural Services Department today (May 18) submitted an investigation report to the Secretary for Development on the incident in which a metal gate at the Social Welfare Department's (SWD) Hang Ngai Manufacturing and Hostel in Hung Hom collapsed on May 5, a spokesman for the Development Bureau said today.

The report covers the processing of the application for repair of the concerned metal gate; repair works conducted before the incident; initial examinations of the gate after the incident; the work report of the contractor as well as proposed improvement measures on carrying out minor maintenance works in government buildings by the Architectural Services Department.

"As Police investigations are going on and the results of their investigations will be submitted to the Coroners' Court to decide whether a death inquest should be held, details of the report will not be disclosed at this stage," the spokesman said.

"As regards those improvement measures proposed by Architectural Services Department in the report, the Development Bureau will study these carefully and take follow-up actions with a view to preventing recurrence of similar incidents. We will brief Members of Legco's Panel on Development at its meeting on May 26 on the Government's minor maintenance works and the proposed improvement measures."

The spokesman said that immediately after the incident, the department had inspected about 45,000 metal gates installed at exits and entrances of 8,000 government premises, and confirmed that no gate of the same design with top-and-bottom pivots as used in SWD's Hang Ngai Manufacturing and Hostel was in use.

All the metal gates inspected were also found to be working in a safe condition without any imminent danger. About 3% (1,350) of these gates required follow-up action on general maintenance. The department estimated that more than 90% of the maintenance work could be done by late May with the remaining work to be completed by mid-June.

In addition, on the day following the incident, Architectural Services Department urgently notified government departments to inspect installations and facilities such as doors, windows and metal gates in their premises, and to inform the department immediately for follow-up action if problems were found.

The department will issue internal guidelines on maintenance work for doors, windows and metal gates to raise the risk awareness of frontline repair and maintenance staff and contractors.

Ends/Monday, May 18, 2009
Issued at HKT 19:22