Tilting house threatens lives of people

Update: August, 09/2016 - 11:00
The four-storey house has been uninhabited for years due to the way it tilts dangerously from the numerous cracks around it. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — People in Quan Thổ 1 Alley on Tôn Đức Thắng Street of Hà Nội live in fear because they do not know when a house that tilts precariously will collapse.

The four-storey house at No. 177 has been uninhabited for years due to the way it tilts dangerously from the numerous cracks around it.

The house is owned by a woman named Thùy who bought it in 2002. Since 2012 the house began tilting dangerously and she moved out.

There are three houses built on the same foundation along with this one and seven others located nearby.

Triệu Nguyễn Khương, who lives next to the house in question said, "There were more and more cracks in that house, and after heavy rains it began to tilt even more dangerously.”

Once, a big portion of a wall fell from the 4thfloor, and fortunately it did not injure anyone passing by.

“I think the authorities must inspect the house, because no one knows when it could collapse,” she said.

The house is leaning further towards Khương’s house. Her family usually move out when it rains heavily.

According to Vũ Văn Khích, who is head of the residential area and living opposite the house in question, most of the houses were built in 1998. Their foundations were very weak because they were reinforced with bamboo sticks.

“We have had numerous meetings about these houses but for many years there has been no action taken to solve the problem,” Khích said.

“There are totally seven households in this alley and every single day they live in apparent danger,” he said.

According to Khích, four households including those inhabiting the tilting structure, had agreed to demolish their homes. But, one of them refused because he believed the house was still in good condition.

Deputy Head of Ô Chợ Dừa Ward, Phạm Việt Cừ, said the ward had meetings with the four households and asked them to rebuild their houses. However, even here, there was no consensus among the owners.

The ward also invited experts from the city’s construction department to evaluate the conditions of these houses.

Late last week, an old house in Cửa Bắc Street collapsed, killing one person and injuring three others.

According to initial investigations, the house was built over 30 years ago without a proper foundation.

Last year, two people died and five were injured, after a 110-year-old mansion in central Ha Noi collapsed. — VNS