All 4 bodies recovered in Penang landslide

Rescue workers use cranes to clear a tree to allow recovery of the bodies of four Myanmar nationals killed in a landslide on Jalan Batu Ferringhi.

GEORGE TOWN: The body of the fourth construction worker who was buried alive in a landslide at Batu Ferringhi last night was found this morning, bringing an end to the search and recovery (SAR) efforts which saw the involvement of over 100 personnel.

The discovery of the body at 3.35am followed that of three others at 11.18pm, 11.49pm and 12.17am.

All four bodies were brought to the Penang Hospital for post-mortem. No identification documents were found.

The four men from Myanmar were working on a 2m retaining wall on a cliff separating the main coastal road to Batu Ferringhi and a resort facing Shamrock Beach.

The landslide which occurred at 9.25pm caused swathes of earth to fall in an area measuring 15 square feet, just 10 feet away from a family chalet.

Police said the resort owners commissioned construction of the wall last week after spotting erosion on the cliff. However, checks by the authorities showed that the work was carried out without a permit from the local council.

Rescue workers had faced trouble removing the rubble as they were impeded by the roots of an old tree planted along the trunk road above.

They eventually resorted to using two large cranes to lift the tree free. However, this caused a 2km snarl up to Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi town as the cranes had to be parked across the single-road carriageway, effectively cutting off traffic.

A total of 112 people were at the site, including 12 police officers, 39 firemen, 20 from the civil defence force and 14 from the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team.

They were assisted by members of the St John’s Ambulance and Red Crescent Society, as well as the Sungai Kelian village community management council.

Penang island mayor Yew Tung Seang and state exco members Jagdeep Singh Deo and Zairil Khir Johari were also there, together with Bukit Bendera MP Wong Hon Wai.

FMT has contacted the resort for comment and is awaiting a response.