'We could have died': Family of five escape being crushed by collapsed 100kg false ceiling, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

'We could have died': Family of five escape being crushed by collapsed 100kg false ceiling

This article is more than 12 months old

"I was stunned when I saw (the damage). If my children and I were at home at that time, we would have been crushed by the false ceiling, and we would have died," said Ms Wendy Liu.

In an inteview with Shin Min Daily News, the mother of three recounted how she and her husband had taken their sons, aged one, two and eight, to the void deck of their four-room HDB flat in Dawson Road on Wednesday (June 8) evening.

About 30 minutes later, she received a message from the family's domestic helper, urging them to return home quickly.

Ms Liu, 40, who runs a fertility wellness centre, still shudders in fear when she recalls the scene of the devastation in her master bedroom that was renovated about six months ago.

The entire false ceiling had collapsed on the king-sized bed, tearing up parts of the wallpaper, smashed a lamp, and narrowly missing her youngest son's crib.

"Most days, we would be on the bed, playing with our mobile devices; or just resting. Then, we wouldn't be here now," she said.

"The false ceiling is made up of iron bars, definitely weighing more than 100kg. There is no way we could have survived it."

According to The Straits Times, the structure was supported by only four small screws.

The family have been living there for five years, and renovations that included installing a false ceiling had recently been completed. 

The couple had found the contractor through Facebook and paid about $5,000 for the renovation, said Ms Liu.

She reported the incident to the contractor, the Tanjong Pagar Town Council and the police.

The contractor, SR Tech Engineering, had arranged for the family to be put up in a hotel for several days while they tried to fix the damage and negotiate compensation, reported Today.

Operation manager Ranamb Masud said that he is in touch with the homeowners and is discussing a settlement amount.

He added that the collapse of the false ceiling could be due to the lack of supporting structures.

The contractor posted a video of the completed false ceiling on its Facebook page on January 9.

Ms Liu said: "Even if the contractor wants to fix the ceiling, I am still fearful of what will happen. I don't think I can live through another traumatic experience like this."