Press Release



Broken windows at government office buildings an isolated incident


In response to press enquiries, a spokesman for the Architectural Services Department today (Friday) stressed that the occurrence yesterday in which about 370 windows of the Revenue Tower and Immigration Tower in Wan Chai were damaged during the passage of Typhoon York should be seen as a rare and isolated incident.

In addition, about 30 windows of the Wan Chai Tower were damaged.

"There is no immediate evidence to suggest that the incident had anything to do with the maintenance works and design of government offices buildings," the spokesman said.

"The department will conduct an investigation into the cause of the incident, possibly including a study on the aero-dynamic effect of the whole area," he said, adding that the incident occurred at a time when the territory was suffering from the onslaught of the most severe typhoon to hit Hong Kong in 16 years.

According to the spokesman, the curtain walls of the buildings, built with 6 mm tempered glass, were designed to American Standard and the wind load requirements in the Buildings Ordinance. Wind load tests of the structural behaviour of the curtain wall system of the Revenue and Immigration Towers were carried out in Florida.

Meanwhile, to ensure public safety, some 40 workers were deployed yesterday by the department to carry out emergency work overnight to remove all standing broken glass panels and insecure objects of the buildings.

To protect the Government offices there, works to cover up the window openings and to clear the debris at ground level have also been carried out. This is expected to be completed today.

Moreover, the spokesman said, when weather permits the operation of the gondola, the department would also conduct thorough checks on the whole curtain walls of the buildings in the coming two weeks.

He added that arrangements for the replacement of glass panels would be made in the next few months.

Ends/Friday, September 17, 1999