The MTR and the government have insisted that buildings around the construction site of To Kwa Wan station are safe. This comes despite media reports that buildings and gas pipelines in the area have sunk beyond acceptable limits.
An internal MTR document obtained by local newspaper Apple Daily found that 23 buildings around the To Kwa Wan site had been affected by subsidence, or the sinking of a surface, since construction on the station began six years ago. The worst affecting building was BMW House, which had sunk by nearly 6.29cm in 2016. Other residential, commercial and public buildings in the area around Ma Tau Wai Road have sunk between 2.33cm to 5.1cm.
The guidelines set by the Buildings Department require action to be taken if the land sinks more than 2.5cm.
There were also reports of underground pipes and wires being affected by the sinking ground. Towngas said it recorded four cases of its gas pipelines sinking below the legal limits over the past four years. The company has already repaired or replaced the affected pipes.
Large cracks could be seen in some buildings in the area, some of which were about the width of an HK$2 coin.
In a statement, the government said Buildings Department officers were sent to inspect the 23 affected buildings on Thursday, and no obvious safety problems were found.
To Kwa Wan station is part of the MTR’s Sha Tin to Central Link, which is still under construction.