According to Hong Kong media reports, a 24-year-old Mainland female visitor was killed when a cleaning woman cleaned a hotel room on the 16th floor and attempted to open the window, causing concern about whether the window was out of repair.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong Housing Department said that the cause of the accident was still under investigation, but the Department had issued a survey order to the owners of Meihua Hotel in accordance with the Building Ordinance, which limited the other party to entrust qualified personnel to inspect all the windows of the hotel within one month, and then submitted a report to the Department. If any windows were found to be defective, suggestions should be made on how to remedy and repair them in order to ensure safety. u3002
The Housing Department also clarified today that the mandatory window inspection scheme implemented in 2012 stipulates that owners of private buildings of 10 years or older (except residential buildings of no more than three floors) must appoint qualified persons to inspect all windows of the building and supervise registered contractors to carry out the required repairs. Under the law, the Buildings Department may issue statutory notices to owners of these buildings requiring them to carry out window inspections and necessary repairs. The legislation covers both residential and non-residential buildings, including hotels, commercial buildings and industrial buildings. In other words, all the buildings of the Meihua Hotel in the event of the accident are also included in the plan.
However, until the accident occurred, the relevant departments had not yet issued a notice to the owners of Meihua Hotel for compulsory window inspection, and the Housing Department had not received any reports about the inadequate condition of the windows in the building in the past.
According to the mandatory window inspection scheme, the target buildings selected annually by the Buildings Department will include buildings of different ages in different areas. An Advisory Committee on Selecting Target Buildings has been set up to advise the Housing Department on the selection of target buildings. Its members include professional groups, relevant non-governmental organizations, property management professionals and representatives of district councils. Relevant factors considered include the condition of windows, the maintenance records of windows and the reporting records of window disrepair.
Mandatory window inspection is scheduled to be implemented in mid-2012. By the end of 2018, the Housing Department has issued a total of about 50,000 mandatory window inspection notices to about 9,800 buildings. About 90% of them have been complied with, and about 37% of the complied cases need to be repaired. According to the law, the Housing Department may issue statutory notice to owners requiring them to inspect windows and repair works they need.
Meihua Group told Hong Kong media this morning that the incident was investigated by the police and the Housing Department, and the hotel will cooperate fully with the Departments request to inspect all windows. The hotel will also contact the family members of the deceased and provide assistance according to their wishes, including compensation issues. As for the female workers arrested, they are currently on vacation. If the female workers need to face criminal prosecution in the future, the company will hire a lawyer to deal with them. The Personnel Department will continue to follow up the situation of the female workers. The hotel rooms causing the accident will not be rented for the time being.
Mainland women who went shopping in Hong Kong were killed when they were smashed by hotel windows
At about 10 a.m. local time, a window of a hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, fell from a high altitude and hit a passing Mainland woman, causing serious head injuries. She was hospitalized and died. Several Hong Kong media reported that the seriously injured woman was from Foshan, Guangdong Province. She arrived in Hong Kong from Foshan on the morning of 21 to prepare for shopping. She was hit by a glass window that suddenly fell from the hotel height at about 10 a.m. when she was passing through the Meihua Mall. She fell unconscious with a severe head injury and was later rushed to hospital for rescue.