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Thursday May 24, 2007

Court complex hit by calamity again

KUALA LUMPUR: Yet another calamity hit the brand-new Jalan Duta court complex yesterday when a faulty pipe burst, causing the cafeteria floor to be flooded.  

At about 9.15am yesterday, a burst pipe end cap caused water to gush out from a service room at the basement cafeteria, resulting in much of the floor being covered in 7cm of water. 

The incident was the latest in a series of major incidents in less than a month to hit the RM290mil complex, touted as the world's second-largest court complex. 

Public Works Department (PWD) director-general Datuk Dr Judin Abdul Karim said the incident was caused by a pipe end cap at a T-joint. 

“The end cap was made of UPVC material which is different from the T- joint which was made from ABS class 15. The end cap has been replaced with an ABS elbow class 15 as per the original specification,” he said in a written statement. 

Water woes: Workers cleaning up the floor of the cafeteria at the brand new Jalan Duta court complex in Kuala Lumpur after a burst pipe caused ankle-deep ‘floods’ on Wednesday morning. The Public Works Department fixed the problem by noon and said that a faulty pipe end cap had caused the problem.
Dr Judin, who arrived at the scene at noon, refused to speak to the press and tried hard to stay away from reporters. 

His statement was read out by PWD deputy director-general III N. Selvanayagam. 

The statement said contractors were despatched to the affected area at 9.30am and the leak was brought under control by 9.40am. 

The situation in the cafeteria returned to normal by noon after the cleaning process was completed. 

Dr Judin said the PWD would report the main contractor to the Construction Industry Development Board. 

He added that the plumber would also not be spared. 

When reporters managed to get to him, Dr Judin refused to comment further and only confirmed that checks were being conducted on the whole building. 

Not talking: Dr Judin refusing comment when asked by reporters to explain the burst pipe incident at the Jalan Duta court complex in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday afternoon.
Acting Chief Registrar of the Federal Court Ahmad Terriruddin Mohd Salleh, who rushed from Putrajaya upon being informed about the incident, also refused to comment.  

“We will leave it to the Public Works Department to handle,” he said. 

The nightmare for the new court complex began on April 30, just before the official opening on May 3, when two ceiling panels collapsed together with some lights.  

Less than a week after that, cracks measuring at least 3m long began appearing outside Magistrate's Court 4. A check by The Star yesterday revealed that the cracks have since been patched up. 

On May 7, the air-conditioning in one of the High Courts malfunctioned, while on May 9 the entire complex experienced a blackout, resulting in several cases being postponed.  


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