Thailand’s plush new parliament building floods after downpour

Construction News
House Speaker Chuan Leekpai

Thailand’s plush new parliament building floods after downpour

House Speaker Chuan Leekpai admits the new 12-billion-baht parliament complex still has flaws after it flooded during heavy rain early on Tuesday.

Mr Chuan said the contractor had deployed more than 4,000 workers to apply the finishing touches to the building before its end-of-year deadline.

Work was still progressing, he added, but he would have to wait until the construction expires at the end of this year before ordering a final test of the completed work.

Yesterday’s deluge caused a drainpipe to burst between 3-4am and a hole the size of a human hand to appear in the pipe above the ceiling of a ground-floor CCTV control room.

The flooding rose to waist-high level and water subsequently poured out under the locked door into the corridor.

Officials smashed the door down to gain entry and prevent the water from damaging the costly control panels for the surveillance cameras.

The new parliament complex

The discharged water then flooded the first-floor hall, as staff rushed to move podiums, sofas and other equipment to safe areas.

Eight nearby elevators were switched off to limit damage as officials temporarily plugged the hole and cleaned up the mess.

The situation was declared fully under control about 9am.

Sorasak Pienvej, the secretary-general of the House of Representatives, said the drainpipe burst after pieces of rock and concrete from construction work on the seventh floor were sent through the pipe, causing it to burst.

The contractor, Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction, has been notified of the incident and instructed to repair the damage.

The company is contractually responsible for the upkeep of the building for two years.

Mr Sorasak said there had been insufficient time to check everything was working properly because parliament needed to use the building immediately.

However, when all the work had been completed a committee overseeing the project would thoroughly examine the new complex again.

He added that the flooding had delayed the Senate secretariat’s plan to move into its new office area.