BAYAN LEPAS: The Fire Department has confirmed new leads indicating that the victims still trapped in the building collapse here are in close proximity to each other.
State Assistant Director of Fire and Rescue Operations, Khairy Sulaiman, said that the search and rescue (SAR) operation to locate four more victims feared trapped in the incident is ongoing.
"Based on information received from the contractor and developer, the victims are in a nearby location only a few meters apart as they were working on placing beams.
"We will not halt the operation until all victims are found, but if there is rain or other adverse weather conditions, a reassessment of the situation will be made," he said at the location today.
Khairy further commented that the services of the Canine Unit (K9) involving two dogs and three handlers are also being utilized. He mentioned that the operation is facing difficulties as the security forces need to lift and move concrete and beams at the scene.
"There are 14 beams in that area, and all of them fell on the workers, causing the rescue team to use a crane to lift the building structure to facilitate access in searching for victims," he added.
Meanwhile, Bayan Lepas State Assemblyman Datuk Azrul Mahathir Aziz expressed hope for decisive action against those allegedly negligent, leading to the incident.
"Agencies and relevant parties need to take stern action on how this tragic incident could occur because I understand that the project operates 24 hours, so it certainly requires careful monitoring.
"I hope such incidents will not recur in the future," he said at the scene.
Earlier, it was reported the building collapse incident near Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Highway here occured at around 9:45 pm. The incident involved nine workers, with two victims found dead at the site, and another pronounced dead upon arrival at Penang Hospital.
Two seriously injured victims were taken to the hospital, and rescue teams are still locating the remaining four victims trapped in the rubble.
The search and rescue operation involves various agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defense Force, police and others.
Officials from the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) were also seen at the scene conducting an investigation.
The building under construction is a three-story logistics business complex with offices, parking spaces, warehouses, and more.