After the big scare yesterday, residents of Opal Tower in Sydney Olympic Park have been told by emergency services that the building is not at risk of collapsing. Despite that, 51 of the units in the building have been deemed unsafe.
All residents of the apartment tower were evacuated yesterday after reports of loud “cracking noises” coming from within the structure which, if we’re honest, is not ideal in your brand spanking new home. It wasn’t until about 12:30am on Christmas morning that it was finally declared that the building wasn’t going to collapse.
Emergency services identified a large crack on the wall of the 10th floor, which was reportedly caused by the failure of an internal support wall. Opal Tower was only opened earlier this year.
A statement from NSW Police declared that the residents of apartments deemed unsafe were “escorted back to gather their belongings and have made their own arrangements for accommodation.”
There are no reported injuries from the operation.
Many are pointing out that the website of Wood & Grieve Engineers, the firm which handled plumbing in the tower, outlines some of the challenges they encountered:
The large structural offsets at the base of the towers created a particular challenge. The difficulty was in the coordination of transferring sewer and storm water services through the deep transfer beams and large transfer slabs.”
“Due to the height of the building which imposes excessive pressures on the pipework and fittings installed on the lower half of the building, the WGE team came up with a unique dual stage pressure control concept and conducted a series of experimental tests to simulate the real working condition of the system before specifying it for installation in the building.
Fire & Rescue NSW told 9 News that they had not received any earlier reports of cracking or structural issues with the building before last night’s events.
There’s currently no timeline on when the residents of the 51 unsafe apartments will be allowed to return to their homes.