Thursday, May 23

Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime – Lo


Lo Khere Chiang

KUCHING: Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime, regardless of whether there is renovation or commissioning works occurring, says Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) chairman Lo Khere Chiang.

While Lo concurred with the suggestion that major renovation work should not be carried out during operating hours, he stated that unfortunate incidents can happen even when there is no work being done in a building.

He said for example, there was an incident where the roof of a shopping mall collapsed when there was no renovation or testing work being carried out during that time.

Lo, who is the Batu Kitang assemblyman, believed the incident at CityOne Megamall was unexpected and unintentional and therefore believes that one should not speculate on what has happened yet as nobody knows what has caused the explosion until the relevant authorities come out with a report.

“Explosion(s) can occur anywhere, even on the road, in the coffee shop or in the kitchen of a home even when no renovation or testing takes place.

“An old gas tank in the store can explode; an expired fire extinguisher at home also can explode when expose to heat,” said Lo who is also a civil engineer.

He said this when asked if there is a need for the local council to have a by-law requiring renovation, testing and commissioning activities to be carried out during non-operation hours in light of the recent tragic explosion at CityOne Megamall that ended with three lost lives, and 41 injured.

Lo said what happened at CityOne was an explosion, an accident, adding that whether there is a by-law or not, accidents may still happen.

While he described the incident as very sad and unfortunate, he insisted it was not right to blame anybody for the tragedy because it was an explosion.

He believed works at the building were carried out according to the standard operation procedure, as the owner of the building would have gotten its electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, civil engineer or even chemical engineer to oversee the renovation works.

“I have full trust in our professionals that they will not compromise on safety factors and design.

“But like what I have said, it was an accident, which can happen anywhere and anytime even when there is no human activity,” he said.

Lo said the incident at CityOne Megamall should be a stark reminder to all – the industry players, the manufacturers, contractors and professionals that they must not compromise on safety and design.