The Sun (Malaysia)

Gross human errors cause of two disasters


GEORGE TOWN: A Commission of Inquiry found that two massive infrastruc­ture failures two years ago in Penang which left three dead were from gross human errors. The inquiry found the Menara Umno incident was due to the “grossly inadequate design of the Fin Wall”, the portion which collapsed during a freak rain and windstorm on June 13, 2013.

Commission­ers Datuk Yeo Yang Poh, Dr Gue See Sew and Datuk Prof Roslan Hashim also found the design engineer “incompeten­t and grossly negligent.”

The report said the engineer did not commission a wind tunnel test and failed to check the natural frequency of the Fin Wall among other errors.

The inquiry recommende­d disciplina­ry actions be instituted by the Board of Engineers Malaysia against the design engineer and the submitting engineer who submitted the plans to the local authoritie­s.

The commission­ers also recommende­d that local planning authoritie­s require engineers to check and verify in writing the expected natural frequency of a tall building or structure.

They also called upon the Penang Island Municipal Council to strictly enforce the Street Drainage and Building Act 1974.

On the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge incident on June 6, 2013, the COE found the failure was due to human errors. They found that the scaffold collapsed as it could not take the weight of the concrete poured on top of it that day. – by Aaron Ngui

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