3.4kg of limestone falls from HDB flat ceiling, nearly hits tenant

PHOTO: Lianhe Wanbao

Perhaps Chicken Little's cries of "The sky is falling!" should be taken a bit more seriously, especially after part of an HDB unit's ceiling fell out of the blue.

The incident took place in a unit in Cassia Crescent, where the oldest blocks date back to 1981

According to the 80-year-old homeowner, her flat was refurbished just five years ago. She hadn't expected the ceiling she thought "should be safe" would suddenly fall.

"It happened at 7.30am last Thursday (Nov 7). I was in the kitchen when I heard a loud bang, but when I went out to the living room, everything was as per normal," she recounted in an interview with Lianhe Wanbao

A few minutes later, her tenant shuffled out saying a large slab of limestone had fallen from the ceiling in his room. When she peered inside, she was shocked to see a hole in the ceiling and a piece of rock measuring between 30 and 40cm on the bed, as well as dust everywhere.

When weighed, the chunks amounted to a total of 3.4kg.

"Luckily he was already awake... It fell right where he slept. If it hit him, he might have died," the elderly women said.

She immediately asked her child to contact the Housing Development Board (HDB). Officers conduction examinations and found that the limestone had cracked and dropped due to excessive moisture, though further checks would be required to confirm the cause.

The tenant revealed that he noticed cracks in the ceiling a while ago but he had never expected it to fall.

The landlady said that in the past 37 years, the ceiling has always had a bit of an issue, though she doesn't know if it has anything to do with her neighbours living in the unit above.

In the past, whenever cracks or bumps appeared, her husband would fix those by himself, only engaging contractors if it got too serious.

When asked if she would consider moving out, she said no. After all, she had lived here for close to four decades and had grown comfortable with the place and neighbours.

This isn't the first time falling chunks of the ceiling in an HDB unit has made the news. Back in 2017, parts of the kitchen ceiling fell in the middle of the night, narrowly missing a 70-year-old inhabitant who was making her way to the toilet.

rainercheung@asiaone.com