KSAMC raises concerns after deadly Bowden Hill collapse
Xavier Chevannes, the city engineer at the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation, said several factors, including inadequate building reinforcement, may have contributed to the collapse of a house in Bowden Hill, St Andrew, yesterday.
Five persons were in the house, which fell about 6:15 a.m. A two-month-old child died in the incident while her two siblings and parents were rushed to hospital.
Chevannes noted that the area is in the Hermitage watershed, a factor that he said should be taken into account when building houses in Bowden Hill.
"The soil became highly saturated due to the frequent rainfall, ultimately leading to the structural failure," he said. "Inadequate reinforcement and substandard concrete are some of the factors that I've identified, which would have compromised the building's integrity."
Chevannes also highlighted the potential challenges posed by building practices and constructing heavy structures on such soil types, especially in the absence of a proper foundation.
"It's crucial to conduct comprehensive soil tests to determine the load-bearing capacity of the soil," he stressed.
"To fully understand the precise causes of the failure, we'll need to delve deeper into our observations and gather more details. It's essential for the public to be aware that anywhere you plan to build in Kingston and St Andrew, securing a building permit is mandatory. In areas with slopes like these, it's imperative to seek input from geological experts to ensure the proposed structure can withstand the soil conditions," he said.