Singapore: Residents terror-stricken after floor tiles 'explode' at HDB flats

HDB flats in Singapore
A view of a newly constructed public housing estate in Singapore Reuters

Floor tiles of residents of Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats at multiple locations like Punggol, Sengkang, Bukit Panjang, Woodlands, Hougang and Jurong West have 'exploded' over the weekend, complained the residents.

According to an eyewitness, the tiles started bending inwards mysteriously in their flat at Block 638A Punggol Drive on Sunday. He also said that the tiles were wobbly.

Another resident at Block 185 heard "cracking sound" from underneath the carpet in the living room at around 8 pm and when he removed the carpet, he saw the tiles have exploded.

Residents were scared out of their wits by this uncanny event. One woman, residing Jurong West said it sounded like loud fireworks.

HDB was later contacted and for time being affected areas are covered with cardboard.

Singapore Renovation Contractors and Material Suppliers Association adviser said the recent chilly weather may be the reason for the cracking. He also doesn't rule out the possibility of poor workmanship.

The weather is getting colder day by day in the region due to the 'monsoon surge', that is affecting the South China Sea region.

However, there are other reasons why floor tiles crack.

While tiles may crack if they are sub-standard, they may also face the same fate if the concrete has not been left to cure for sufficient time or a suitable adhesive was not used.

Though these are the common reasons for titles to explode, there can be several other factors that can lead to this.

HDB flats made headlines recently after Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said in Parliament that sellers who are looking to sell their flats to a buyer from a particular ethnic group can ask for a time extension.