RESIDENTS of a nine-storey condominium off Srinakarin road near Seacon Square scurried for safety at 5.30 a.m. this morning (Sept. 14, 2020) after a 21.5-metre-long concrete awning affixed between the ground and first floors suddenly collapsed but fortunately there were no injuries, Thai Rath newspaper reported.
Sukhumvit fire and rescue staff, rescuers from Po Tek Tung Foundation, civil engineers and Mr. Woraset Wisansak, director of the Prawet district office, rushed to Niran Residence 5 condominium and found that the rubble of the 21.5-metre-long and one-metre-wide awning had blocked the entrance to six ground floor units with staff helping residents trapped within come out safely.
Woraset said after inspecting the debris of the collapsed awning of this condominium, which was completed in 1997 and is now over 20 years old, that initial assumption is that the structure had been holding water too long.
While the the building itself remains strong, the Office of Civil Affairs and other relevant departments would be contacted to come in and find out the exact cause of this collapse, and also determine whether the rubble and the remaining parts of the awning could be demolished and removed so that residents could enter their homes.
The remaining 11 condo buildings in this complex would all have to be examined to ensure safety, he added.
The condo management explained that they were not stay still with there being an ongoing inspection, but looking on the surface there were no abnormalities. They will now bring in an expert to check the soundness of similar awnings at remaining 11 buildings.
Mr. Pichet Khamma, who has lived in a corner ground floor unit for over 10 years now, said he heard a very loud noise at 5.30 a.m. as if something had broken off and fallen. He hurriedly tried to come out but found that his door had been blocked, however there was a gap on the ground and he managed to craw out.
The rubble of the collapsed awning in front of the condo. Photos: Thai Rath