A devastating incident occurred when a construction site near the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) in Batu Maung collapsed, resulting in three fatalities and two serious injuries.
Deputy state police chief Mohamed Usuf Jan Mohamad confirmed the tragic event, revealing that all the victims are believed to be Bangladeshi nationals.
The catastrophe unfolded at around 9:45 pm when a 12-meter-long, 14-tonne beam collapsed from a height of 20 meters, crashing into 14 other beams. The impact trapped nine construction workers below, while nine others were fortunately away for prayers. Two individuals lost their lives at the scene, while another succumbed to injuries at the hospital.
Speaking to the press, Mohamed Usuf explained the ongoing challenges in the search and rescue operation. “We have to remove all the beams first with the help of a crane before we can get to the victims. So, this is the difficulty we are facing.”
He emphasized the complexity of the situation and mentioned that the search operation would persist until all victims are located.
Deputy state Fire and Rescue Department director Fire Assistant Commissioner Zulfahmi Sutaji highlighted the formidable task ahead.
“Our difficulty is that these are extremely heavy concrete structures, so we need the help of heavy and hydraulic machineries to access the site. We also roped in the help from the K9 unit. The search site is the size of a basketball court. That is our search area,” New Straits Times quoted him as saying.
The search mission, involving multiple agencies, will continue into the morning, with rescuers navigating the challenging terrain of the collapsed construction site. As the community grapples with this tragic event, the authorities are committed to ensuring a thorough and exhaustive effort to locate any remaining victims.