Thursday, 12 August 2010

Spare arch for demolition practice

I visited the Penang Botanic Garden yesterday morning. Finally, work is in progress to bring down the two arches because this one nearest to the entrance into the Garden is the only one left standing. There was rubble all around but within the fenced up disaster area, no doubt the remains from the first arch.

 On Monday night, workers with their caterpillar crane had been busy demolishing the first arch. Actually, "busy" may not be the right term to use. The workers were hardly busy because after the initial jabs at the arch with a hydraulic breaker, the arch simply toppled over. This picture from Guang Ming was snapped at the critical moment that the arch came crashing down "almost in slow motion," according to witnesses. It was the last thing anyone expected to happen but it did, and it sent a shudder all around when the concrete smashed into the ground.

So much for Malaysia's famed feats of engineering when it was discovered that there was just three feet of concrete foundation. Three shallow feet to support tons of concrete rising 18 feet into the air raises questions about the planners and appointed contractors. No wonder the arch was leaning dangerously. I'm sure the other arch is also supported by only three feet of foundation. Why would it be any different? The sooner it is also brought down, the better.

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