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Hilton Hotel driveway ceiling collapses: 4 hurt

SINGAPORE — Part of the false ceiling at the Hilton Hotel’s drop-off area collapsed today (Dec 13), injuring four people — one man, two women and a child — who had to be taken to hospital.

Hilton Hotel driveway ceiling collapses: 4 hurt

False ceiling collapses at Hilton Hotel. Photo: Ernest Chua / TODAY

SINGAPORE — Part of the false ceiling at the Hilton Hotel’s drop-off area collapsed today (Dec 13), injuring four people — one man, two women and a child — who had to be taken to hospital.

The extent of their injuries were unclear, but the Singapore Civil Defence Force, which received a call about the incident at 2.55pm, said the victims were conscious when they were put into ambulances and taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

The false ceiling at the driveway, which was decorated with Christmas lights, appeared to be made of plasterboard. There were also some aluminium frames that fell through.

A black SUV bearing a Malaysian licence plate and a white taxi were in the driveway when the ceiling fell, with the SUV bearing the brunt of the collapse.

An eyewitness from an eatery nearby said the collapse was accompanied by a very loud bang. “You look at the damage, you can imagine how loud the sound was. The traffic was not heavy and there were no screams when the ceiling collapsed,” said the eyewitness, who declined to be named.

A supervisor at Jamie’s Italian Restaurant next to the hotel who wanted to be known only as Steven said he only realised what had happened when he saw a crowd gather near the area.

“I saw one ambulance arrive within minutes and noticed a security guard who may have been injured from the ceiling that collapsed because he had dirt from the rubble on his back. But he seemed okay as he was still able to walk,” he said. It is understood the security guard works for the hotel.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, a Building and Construction Authority (BCA) spokesperson said its engineers and a professional engineer appointed by the hotel have inspected the damage and assessed that the building structure is intact and unaffected by the collapse of the false ceiling.

The BCA has directed the hotel to carry out a further detailed investigation of the incident, check all similar false ceilings at the other parts of the driveway, as well as recommend rectification measures and follow up with the repair work.

A hotel spokesperson said: “The well-being, safety and security of our guests and staff are of paramount importance and all our efforts are currently focused on fully cooperating with the local authorities on their current investigation and as such, we are not in the position to comment further.”

The incident today was the latest in a string to have hit the Orchard Road area.

On Saturday, Orchard Central mall suffered a blackout, which was caused by water seepage from a downpour. A day earlier, a 48-year-old Indonesian man fell several stories to his death inside Wisma Atria mall.

There were two other incidents earlier this month. Just days a part, a Christmas tree outside Knightsbridge caught fire and a Christmas decoration on a lamp post near Emerald Hill went up in flames. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SIAU MING EN

(Above photos: S Nasser)

(Video: Angela Teng / TODAY)

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