Hau demands Taipei crack down on older buildings' falling tiles
By Queena Yen ,The China Post
December 4, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- To avoid injuries due to tiles falling from tall buildings and landing on pedestrians, Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), demanded yesterday that the Construction Management Office (CMO) of the city government to take action to punish negligent building owners.
While considering the possibility of suing owners over offenses against public safety in the future, Hau at the weekly meeting yesterday also encouraged citizens to report old buildings that might endanger citizens. The highest reward for reporting the hazardous buildings could amount to up to half the amount of the fine.
There have recently been two cases of pedestrians injured by falling tiles in Taipei. According to police, a 25-year-old woman, surnamed Huang, was hit by a falling tile when she passed by the intersection of Minsheng East Road (民生東路) and Linsen North Road (林森北路). The accident resulted in a two-centimeter laceration on her head and eight stitches. She is now recovering after being hospitalized.
Another incident occurred in May. A young girl is still in rehabilitation after a falling tile crushed her skullcap. The tile fell from the sixth floor of an old building located at Minquan East Road (民權東路) Section 2.
The city government pointed out that it is the building owners' responsibility to check the safety of their properties. If they fail to do so, they may be fined from NT$60,000 to NT$300,000 in accordance with the Building Act. In addition to heavy fines, if it is a commercial building it may be forced to cease operations. Therefore, owners should not neglect the potential danger caused by unstable tiles, not only for pedestrians' safety but also for their own benefit.
Hau also requested a full inspection to check all buildings over 30 years old within the city in an effort to improve public safety.