PETALING JAYA - Initial inquiry into the fatal worksite accident that killed three workers at Sungai Buloh suggests that there has been a breach of safe work procedure, said the project owner, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp).
According to MRT Corp CEO Datuk Wira Azhar Abdul Hamid, upon talking to some workers at the site, there are indications that certain quarters had disregarded safety regulations.
"We are, however, still investigating as this site is under the jurisdiction of our subcontractor, Syarikat Muhibbah Perniagaan dan Pembinaan Sdn Bhd, and the exact details will be disclosed as soon as the investigations are completed," he said during a press conference at the MRT site located on land that used to belong to the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia along Jalan Sungai Buloh, just across Kota Damansara.
Azhar said MRT Corp had always emphasised on safety to the point where its contractors often retort the organisation was "overdoing it", and that MRT Corp's requirement "wasn't a norm in the industry".
To that, Azhar argued that having workers die was "not the norm" either, and added that he would see through the investigations and ensure the deceased and their families get the justice they deserve.
Three Bangladeshi workers were killed when a concrete span weighing 650 tonnes at the site collapsed at 8.30pm, pining them underneath.
The incident occurred while work to construct the parapet for the guideway, made up of 14 units of segmented box girders, was being carried out.
"We have spoken to the Bangladeshi High Commission and told them the bodies will be sent home as soon as the paperwork is done.
"For now, we have informed the families and told them to make the necessary arrangements to receive the bodies," he said.
The bodies of Mohammad Elahi Hossain, 27, Mohamad Faruk Khan, 38, and Mohammad Alauddin Mollik, 34, were all recovered yesterday.
Azhar said he did not wish to speculate how and why the workers were unable to escape in time.
"There is a lot of verification to be done and it might take as long as two weeks for all the details to be finalised," he said.
Operations at the site has been stopped and can only commence when authorities are satisfied with the safety standards on the site.
Bernama reported that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called for a full investigation into the incident.
"Shocked and saddened to hear about the MRT site accident. A full investigation must be carried out immediately to ensure this never happens again," he said in a Twitter post.
The last high profile accident involving the MRT was on June 24, when a metal sheet pile being lifted at Pusat Bandar Damansara site fell onto a moving car.
Though no one was hurt in the incident, MRT Corp sacked the sub-contractor and staff responsible, other than barring the subcontractor from bidding for future MRT contracts.