Sinkhole opens up near site of lightning arrester collapse

GEORGE TOWN - Traffic along Macalister Road here slowed down to a snail's pace after a sinkhole appeared on the road, near the site of the lightning arrester collapse which killed a motorist in June.

The hole, measuring about 0.6m in diameter and 1m deep, is located in the middle of the road in front of the Pakistani Mosque.

Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng said a preliminary probe by the Penang Municipal Council's engineering department showed that a leaking sewerage pipe about 3m away had caused soil erosion beneath the road, resulting in the cave-in at about 1.15pm yesterday.

He said the section of the road had been cordoned off and an iron plate would be placed over the sinkhole for the time being.

"Indah Water Konsortium has been notified and will carry out repairs tomorrow (today).

"Digging works and repairs are expected to take a few days," he added.

On Aug 14, a forklift fell into a hole when the road in front of the Pakistani Mosque caved in during work to repair damage caused by the lightning arrester collapse.

The remains of 44-year-old hawker Lim Chin Aik is believed to be buried in the ground when the lightning arrester from atop the 21-storey Menara Umno snapped during a storm and crashed into his car.

Lim was presumed dead when pieces of his car were found in the crater that resulted from the impact.

On June 23, Lim was "laid to rest" in a simple funeral ceremony at the Kek Lok Si Columbarium, where an urn containing mud which his wife, Lee Chai Song, 48, had scooped from the crater, was placed.