Building collapse: Three dead, two injured, four feared buried under the rubble

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 29: Police have confirmed that as of 1.40am, three construction workers were killed when the roof frame of a logistics warehouse under contruction in Batu Maung, Bayan Lepas collapsed yesterday.

Penang deputy police chief Datuk Mohamad Usuf Jan Mohamad said two of the victims died at the site of the incident while another died at the hospital.

Mohamad Usuf added that two workers who were seriously injured were sent to the Penang Hospital for treatment while four others are believed to have been buried under the rubble and that search and rescue efforts were being carried out by the Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM).

He said the identity of those who died has yet to be determined.

“We received information about the incident at 9.45pm claiming 18 construction workers were feared trapped when a building under construction collapsed. However, we were notified that nine from the 18 had actually went out for prayers.

“During the incident, the workers were working under a 12 metre beam that weighed about 14 tonnes. The beam later collapsed over the workers and piled up over other beams there. Two of them died at the site while another died at the Penang Hospital,” he said during a press conference held at the site.

Mohamad Usuf said cranes were being used to lift the fallen structure so that the search and rescue team can start looking for victims trapped under the rubble.

Meanwhile, Penang JBPM deputy director Zulfahmi Sutaji said the collapsed area was as big as a basketball court and that cranes and other equipment were being used to lift the fallen structures.

Zulfahmi said the K9 dog unit would be called in to assist in the search and rescue operation if needed.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Consulate Datuk Shaik Ismail Allaudin who arrived at the site said they were still waiting to gather details of the victims involved in the tragedy.

“Right now we cannot issue any statement before knowing any information officially. I have asked the contractor to provide details of the victims. Although we know they are from Bangladesh, we need documents to identify before making any statements,” he said.