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Collapsed ventilation duct at NEX cinema likely due to water accumulation causing overloading: Desmond Lee

Collapsed ventilation duct at NEX cinema likely due to water accumulation causing overloading: Desmond Lee

The cinema at Shaw Theatres NEX is closed until further notice after a ventilation duct fell from the ceiling on Aug 30, 2020. (Photo: Steven Chung)

SINGAPORE: The collapse of a ventilation duct at Shaw Theatres in NEX shopping mall was likely due to an accumulation of water overloading the supporting brackets, said National Development Minister Desmond Lee on Monday (Oct 5).

Mr Lee made the comment in a written reply to a Parliamentary question by Member of Parliament (MP) Melvin Yong about the incident that left two people injured during a movie on Aug 30.

The minister said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) instructed the building owner to appoint a professional engineer to carry out a "detailed investigation" of the incident and recommend rectification measures to be taken.

"The investigation is ongoing and is expected to be completed by end October 2020," said Mr Lee.

"However, preliminary findings indicate that a significant amount of water had accumulated in the layer of acoustic material surrounding the ACMV (air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation) duct.

"The weight of the accumulated water is likely to have overloaded the brackets that were supporting the ACMV duct, causing them to give way," added Mr Lee.

Mr Yong, of the People's Action Party, had asked about the circumstances that led to the duct being dislodged. The Radin Mas MP also asked about the liabilities of the building owner, management office and tenant in such cases, as well as what is being done to prevent these incidents from happening again.

Mr Lee said BCA has alerted other cinema operators to inspect their air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation ducts, and to carry out maintenance and repair works where necessary.

"BCA will assess what further measures need to be taken to prevent a recurrence of such incidents after the investigation has been completed."

Source: CNA/jt(ta)

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