Wednesday 3 July 2013

Three construction workers killed in landslip at Kuala Lumpur construction site.

Three construction workers have been killed and another suffered a broken leg when they were buried in a landslip at a construction site in Ukay Perdana on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpa at about 11.00 am local time (3.00 am GMT) on Wednesday 3 July 2013. The deceased men have been described as Myanmar nationals, while the injured man is apparently from Bangladesh. Two other workers were dug out unharmed at the site. 

Rescue workers at the Ukay Perdana construction site. Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia.

Malaysia has become increasingly landslip-prone in recent years due to extensive deforestation, which leaves soil exposed to heavy tropical rainfall. Landslides are a common problem after severe weather events, as excess pore water pressure can overcome cohesion in soil and sediments, allowing them to flow like liquids. However Kuala Lumpur has been suffering from unseasonably dry weather in recent weeks (which has made problems caused by smoke from burning forests in neighboring Sumatra much worse), so this is unlikely to have been the case in this instance. 

Local authorities are blaming the incident on negligence by contractors at the site, who were carrying out slop stabilization work (implying it was known the slope was unstable) but failed to clear the area of other workers. The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council has issued a stop order on work at the site while a full investigation is carried out.

The location of the Ukay Perdana landslip. Google Maps.

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