Loud blast before Teruntum Complex wall collapses


KUANTAN: “I heard a loud sound followed by a flood of water. I panicked, picked up my child and ran from the sales tent,” says car saleswoman Tuan Nur Aisyah Tuan Mohd Nor.

She was among the witnesses who saw a wall of the Teruntum Complex in Jalan Mahkota-Seri Kuantan here, collapse after a water tank on the fourth floor burst at about 1pm today.

Tuan Nur Aisyah, 32, said her sales tent was located about 80 metres from the complex, enabling her to see clearly the stone wall falling on several cars and motorcycles parked in the nearby parking area.

Meanwhile, one of the victims, Sheikh Mohd Hanfi Sheikh Ali, 50, said he and his wife, Norziah Abdul Ghafar, 51, injured their knees, elbows and the palms of their hands when they fell while running to avoid falling rubble.

He said they were walking at the back of the complex on their way to a nearby shopping mall when sounds of a blast resembling an explosion were heard.

“Luckily I saw the falling wall and water pouring in our direction…enabling my wife and I to run and avoid being hit. . but my motorcycle which I parked there was badly damaged by falling bricks.

“Anyway, I’m thankful, as lives are more important,” he said, adding that he would lodge a police report about his motorcycle.

It was learnt that four people sustained light injuries while four cars and at least 10 motorcycles were damaged by falling debris.

Kuantan Fire and Rescue Station (Operations) chief Bakhtiar Iskandar Mohamad said they received information from the public about the incident at 1pm.

“A fire engine with 11 firemen rushed to the scene. There were also police and the Civil Defence Force (APM) personnel, who helped cordon off the area and move the vehicles involved,” he said.

Meanwhile, manager of the complex, Mohd Zaid Harun said the building would be closed temporarily starting today.

“The complex will only be opened after receiving approval from the Public Works Department (JKR),” he said, adding that the 21-storey complex was opened in January 1980.