Fresh revelations

It soon came to light that some of the site staff were aware of construction irregularities during the seven months when Hui Hon was in charge of the work. The site foreman employed by Hui Hon from mid March to July 1998 told an ICAC investigator that, because the project was progressing so slowly, he had been instructed to drive the temporary casings to a depth of only 20 m to 30 m below ground, rather than to founding level. He also said that he knew that two ex-directors of Hui Hon had ordered the workers to use Super Mud to stabilize the walls of excavated shafts without installing temporary casings for support.

The site foreman
also pointed out that in May 1998, a few months after construction started, two to three lorry loads of concrete were left over after workers had cast the concrete into two pile shafts. This was unusual because the volume of concrete ordered ought to have matched the amount required to create piles of the prescribed depth. A small amount of concrete might well be left over after casting was complete, but such a large excess could mean only one thing: the pile shafts were shorter than prescribed, and so could not hold the correctly ordered amount of concrete.

The site foreman went on to say that he was aware of the various construction problems at Yuen Chau Kok. In an on-site inspection meeting with the directors of Hui Hon, he had raised both the operating problems being encountered with the Bauer BG 40 rig and the excess concrete issue. The directors took no action. He stated that the foreman, the site agent and the assistant engineer all shared his concerns, but that the management still insisted on their own preferred way of doing the piling work.

He carried on voicing his concerns until early July 1998, when he raised a final alarm with the site agent. This was once again ignored by the management, so he immediately resigned and left.


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