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Contractors in M'sia MRT span collapse flouted procedures: probe

Initial investigation into the collapse of the concrete span at the MRT worksite which killed three workers found that the contractors did not comply with standard operating procedures (SOP).

KUALA LUMPUR: Initial investigation into the collapse of the concrete span at the MRT worksite which killed three workers found that the contractors did not comply with standard operating procedures (SOP).

Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) deputy director-general Zabidi Md Adib said safety inspectors found that no engineers or supervisors were present to supervise the installation of the parapet wall. "The installation of the parapet wall should be supervised by qualified engineers to ensure that it is carried out according to procedures," he said when contacted by Bernama on Tuesday (Aug 19).

Three Bangladeshi construction workers were crushed under 490 tonnes of concrete after the span in Kota Damansara collapsed at 8.30pm on Monday. The three construction workers killed were identified as Mohamed Faruk Khan, Mohammad Elahi Hossain and Mohammad Alauddin Mollik.

Meanwhile, the chief executive officer of Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Corp, Azhar Abdul Hamid, announced his resignation from the post with immediate effect on Tuesday (Aug 19).

Azhar said that he took full responsibility for the incident as he was the chief executive officer when it happened. "MRT Corp and related parties will investigate the incident and will take legal action against those found guilty to prevent a recurrence. Initial investigation at the worksite found that the contractors' failure to implement standard operating procedures (SOP) on safety led to the death of the workers,” he said.

DOSH also issued a 'Stop Work Order' at the construction site until a complete investigation was carried out while the contractors must provide solutions to prevent a recurrence. "The Stop Work Order is issued to the main contractor, sub-contractors and the project owner, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp),” said Zabidi. He said if the investigation found any violation of the law, then the culprits responsible would be prosecuted in court.

Meanwhile, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Lee Lam Thye said the main issue was the contractors’ lack of concern for safety. "The issue of safety in the workplace is very important and everyone involved must comply with all procedures to prevent a recurrence."

Lee told Bernama a series of unfortunate events involving the MRT would erode public confidence in the public transport operator. "MRT Corp has to restore public confidence by taking full responsibility for the incident," he added. Commenting on the resignation of Azhar, Lee said it was dignified and should be respected. "He (Azhar) is committed to safety and want to avoid any untoward incidents. I respect his decision (resignation)."

Azhar said the span was intact, and stressed making it a safe platform to work on. "There were four workers, one was on the ground while three others were on top. I am made to believe and yet to confirm that they had their harness on. The harness could have prevented them from getting far away from the concrete span, causing them to be buried," he told a press conference before announcing his decision to quit as CEO of MRT Corp.

Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Syed Hamid Albar said MRT Corp and DOSH were given one week to present their reports.