Gravel mixed in with newspapers, instead of concrete slabs, was found in a flat in a new public housing estate in Sha Tin.
The discovery is the latest problem involving China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Ltd. which was embroiled in a scandal over tainted water last year.
A resident who recently moved into a flat in Shing Chuen House reported the find to Sha Tin district councilor Yau Man-chung after receiving a complaint about water seepage from a downstairs occupant, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The flat is part of a newly completed 18-block complex.
The seepage was coming from the ceiling of the lower flat, meaning water was leaking from the floor of the upstairs unit.
Inspectors traced the problem to the toilet floor where they found gravel covered over with newspapers and cement, rather than concrete slabs used in construction. [See video]
The Housing Department said it was the second such complaint from the estate but added both were isolated cases.
However, these raised concern among residents about the quality of work on the flats and whether it was up to safety standards.
China State Construction, which is building several other public estates in Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan and Tsing Yi, declined to answer questions about its construction methods.
It said the estate is the responsibility of the Housing Department after it passed quality inspections, news website hk01.com reports.
Last year, China State Construction was involved in a scandal over lead-tainted pipes in several public housing buildings that triggered a water contamination scare.
Senior home inspector Tsim Chai-nam said the problem might have been caused by several factors, including incorrect mixture of water, mud and sand when making slabs.
He said the situation is serious because it might affect the flat’s structural integrity and the safety of the building.
Grouting alone cannot fix the problem which requires dismantling the floor and rebuilding it.
The Housing Department denied any structural safety issues.
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