On 2010-1-29, an old building at 45j ma tau wai road collapsed causing 4 dead and 2 injured. It was located directly opposite the San Wai street.
Following two picures show the scene just after the collapse
Google map street view in 2009 before the collapse
Google map street view in 2011 after the collapse
1955-4 picture showing that row of old buildings on ma tau wai road. Bottom of picture is Chatham rd north.
Top of the picture is ma tau wai rd showing those old buildings. Street on the right is Pak Kung St.
Street on the left is San Wai st. The one at the san wai-ma tau wai junction was the 45j building which collapsed in 2010. Apparently the left wing of 45j was still under construction.
My grandma thought it was an earthquake
My grandma lived near the site. On the day that the collapse happened she thought it was an earthquake and also felt her building was shaking. She also heard the loud sound and was shocked for the scene and unbelived what she saw. The site was closed for nearly one month and she had not left her home during that period.
Most of the buildings in Hong Kong are not over 60 years old. There is good reason for that. Buildings constructed in the 50s and 60s were of low quality and the rules were not as strict as today. There may even be a lot of corruption at that time. Many buildings in Hunghom are quite old. They started to show structural defects after 20 or 30 years. It is common to see a lot of the old buildings are propped up by beams from the pavement. I remember a building on gillies road also collapsed not very long ago. If I remember correctly, it was the one at the south east corner of gillies-bulkeley junction.
the reason for the collapse of this building was that workmen had removed a structural wall during renovations. It's not that the building was inherently unstable due to its age, but that illegal renovations were being made.