GEORGE TOWN, Oct 21 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today proposed a formal state inquiry into a landslide that buried 14 workers and killed three at a construction site in Tanjung Bungah here.
While visiting the site of the incident, Lim said he will put this to the state executive council for its consideration next week.
“A normal investigation will not suffice for this tragedy, so I will propose a state [governor’s] inquiry into it, an inquiry that is similar to the inquiry held for the incidents at the second Penang bridge and the Menara Umno previously,” he told reporters.
The state set up a commission and conducted formal public inquiries into the collapse of a section of the ramp leading to the Second Penang Bridge and the failure of a structure at Menara Umno along Macalister Road in 2013.
Lim, who described today’s landslide in Tanjung Bungah as a “work site accident”, said one of the victims still buried underneath the soil is Malaysian and that his family is awaiting news at the site.
He also said he has instructed Penang Island City Council Mayor Datuk Maimunah Sharif to investigate all other construction sites in the island.
“I have ordered the mayor to check all other construction sites on their safety so that such an incident will not happen elsewhere,” he said.
At about 8.50am, the hill slope next to the construction site collapsed and buried 14 workers under about 35m of mud and soil.
The Fire and Rescue Department found three bodies by 1pm. The search, with the help of the canine unit, continues for 11 others still buried underneath.
The construction is for the Granito@Permai affordable housing project at Jalan Lembah Permai.
The development consists of a 49-storey building with two towers and 12 levels of car parks. It has 980 units for sale at below RM400,000 and was listed as an affordable housing project.