Foreign workers killed by collapsing concrete wall at factory

Grim task: Fire and Rescue Department personnel searching for the bodies of the victims that were buried underneath a wall at the factory in Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU - Three foreign workers have been crushed to death and another seriously injured after a concrete wall collapsed on them while digging a 5m-deep drain at a factory here.

Indonesians Abd Kasim, 41, and Sairin, 44, and Bangladeshi Ropon Miah, 28, were digging the drain of a factory along Jalan Angkasa Mas 1 in Tebrau Industrial Area II at about 8.30am when a 2.4m-high wall collapsed on them.

Another Indonesian, Sunhendra, 45, is seriously injured and has been warded at Sultan Ismail Hospital.

Johor Fire and Rescue Department assistant director Hamid Suari said the department received a distress call six minutes after the incident.

He said 20 firemen in five fire engines from the Johor Jaya and Johor Baru fire stations rushed to the factory and arrived 11 minutes later.

"We conducted a search and rescue operation to save the trapped workers. We had to use a crane to remove parts of the 2.4m wall as they were too heavy to be removed manually," he said.

Hamid said firemen managed to pull out Sunhendra at about 9.10am, adding that his pelvic bone and right hand were broken.

Sairin's body was recovered about an hour later followed by the bodies of Ropon as well as Abd Kassim.

Johor Baru (South) OCPD Asst Comm Sulaiman Salleh said that investigations showed that the workers had been digging the drain since Monday.

"The bodies have been sent to the hospital for post-mortem and we have classified the cases as sudden deaths," he said.