Problems mount

In an attempt to arrest this soil collapse, Hui Hon purchased quantities of the proprietary soil stabilizer Super Mud to reinforce those pile shafts without installing temporary casings. The use of Super Mud was not in the method statement for the works. Given that the length of pile shafts without temporary casings extended from 5 m to 25 m, the Super Mud served little useful purpose.

In mid-June 1998, Hui Hon was troubled by financial problems and stopped using Super Mud. Although construction problems were mounting, Hui Hon continued to ignore them and forge ahead because the contract stipulated a fine of $170,000 per day for any work delay. Since the soil collapse situation was never improved, the depth of many of the pile shafts was reduced, and as a result the related piles were shorter than stipulated.

Faced with a project riddled with problems, major delays and the prospect of a huge fine, Hui Hon took the final step of resorting to a number of blatantly illegal acts that they thought would cover up the non-compliant piling works.


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