Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on circumstances that led to air-conditioning ventilation duct at NEX shopping mall being dislodged, liabilities, and prevention

Oct 5, 2020

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) what are the circumstances that led to the air-conditioning ventilation duct at NEX shopping mall being dislodged; (b) what are the liabilities of the building owner, management office, and tenant in such cases; and (c) what is being done to prevent such incidents from happening again.


Following the incident where an Air-Conditioning & Mechanical Ventilation (ACMV) duct detached from the ceiling of a cinema hall in the NEX shopping mall, BCA instructed the building owner to appoint a Professional Engineer to carry out a detailed investigation of the incident, and to recommend rectification measures to be taken.

The investigation is ongoing and is expected to be completed by end October 2020. However, preliminary findings indicate that a significant amount of water had accumulated in the layer of acoustic material surrounding the ACMV duct. The weight of the accumulated water is likely to have overloaded the brackets that were supporting the ACMV duct, causing them to give way.

BCA has alerted other cinema operators to inspect their ACMV ducts and to carry out maintenance and repair works where necessary. BCA will assess what further measures need to be taken to prevent a recurrence of such incidents after the investigation has been completed.