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Two killed, one injured, at least 10 feared buried alive in landslide

Last Update: 20/10/2018

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 19  (Bernama) -- Two foreign workers died and at least 10 more are feared to have been buried alive following a landslide today at a construction site of the paired road at Jalan Bukit Kukus in Paya Terubong near here.

The incident , which occurred at 1.56 pm following a downpour in the state since yesterday, caused at least seven containers and a “kongsi” houses to slide  about 50 metres down with the debris. However, the actual number has yet to be ascertained.

The bodies of two men, a Bangladeshi and an Indonesian, were found at 3.30 pm and 5.08 pm respectively.

The bodies of  Attrul, 35, from Bangladesh and Indonesian Samsul Asman, 19, were found near each under five-metre deep of soil from the land slide.

The bodies had been sent to Penang Hospital for post mortem.

The injured victims were reported to have fractured their legs and sent to Penang Hospital. However, their identity could not be ascertained.

Samsul’s body was identified by his father, Asman Hamid, 62, who was informed about the land slide by a friend of his son. Samsul was said to be working at the construction site since two months ago.

“I was informed about the landslide after the Friday prayer. I arrived home to see my wife crying,” said Asman, who arrived at the Penang Hospital at 6.10 pm bare-footed and foot smudged with mud.

Asman and his wife, who are from  Sulawesi, Indonesia, arrived at the hospital together with Samsul’s body. The couple live in a  rented house in Paya Terubong, while Samsu lived with the other workers at the construction site.

The landslide occurred nine days after 14 concrete beams collapsed at a hill slope at the project site in Jalan Bukit Kukus, about a kilometre away from today’s landslide.

The project, costing RM545 million, started in 2016 and expected to be ready in 2020.

However, no construction work was being carried out when the landslide occurred, following a stop work order by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health after the collapse of the concrete beams at the project site.

Penang Fire and Rescue Department director  Saadon Mokhtar said so far, three victims are confirmed still buried in the landslide based on statements from their wife and friends.

The three comprise two Indonesians, identified as Bahktiar dan Sobri, and the other, a Myanmar national.

“We have been informed that there are seven other foreign workers trapped in the landslide, Saadon told reporters at the scene.

 As of midnight, the search and rescue (SAR)  operation is still on and involved 200 personnel from various agencies, including the Fire and Rescue Department, police, medical team from the Health Ministry, Civil Defence Force, Penang City Council, project contractor and volunteers.

The SAR will continue until all the victims are found as the weather is fine and there is adequate lighting.

Assisting the SAR team are members from the K-9 sniffer dog unit, with four tracker dogs which have just arrived from the Putrajaya Fire and Rescue station, and the Special Tactical Operations and Rescue Malaysia (STORM), as well as the Kedah and Perlis Fire and Rescue departments.

Meanwhile, Indonesian consulate-general consular affairs officer Neni Kurniati said the consulate was gathering information on its citizens who were involved in the incident.

"So far, Samsul’s family has been called to identify the body and DNA test will be conducted. After that, it will be up to the family members whether to have the funeral here or to have the body sent back to Indonesia,” she said when met at the compound of the Forensic Unit of the Penang Hospital tonight.

Neni Kurniati said the consulate had also met the wives of the two Indonesian workers who were believes still buried , and form information obtained, the victims were from  Sulawesi.




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