GEORGE TOWN: Passengers catching their early flights were stunned when the plaster ceiling at the Penang International Airport (PIA) departure hall suddenly collapsed.
Ching-Yen Beh, who was at the airport waiting for her flight to Subang airport when the incident occurred, posted a picture of the collapsed ceiling on her Facebook page at about 7.30am yesterday.
"Wow... It's collapse (sic) 2 min before I pass by... I was at the security check gate while this place is right in front of the perfume shop," she captioned her picture.
PIA senior manager Mohd Arif Jaafar confirmed that no one was injured in the incident.
"The airport roof is now undergoing maintenance work and the heavy downpour in the morning caused water to overflow its gutters, leading to the collapse.
"The roof maintenance work started on April 20 and is expected to be completed by the end of the month," he said.
When asked whether the problem was more than just a flaw in the gutter system, Mohd Arif said the ceiling was not built to cope with that sort of heavy rainfall.
"The problem is being looked into and improvement to the gutters will be done immediately. Our contractors are working hard to get it fixed."
He added that passengers were aware of the maintenance work as information boards had been put up.
"Passengers will not be affected as the work will only be carried out at night," he said.
In October 2012, part of the ceiling also collapsed due to the same reason, injuring customer support agent Lydiawaty Hamzah, 26, who suffered concussion and a swollen left jaw.