KUALA LUMPUR: A fire broke out at Menara Tun Razak along Jalan Raja Laut here, trapping five foreign construction workers in thick smoke.
Firefighters had to use the stairs to reach the victims trapped on the 30th floor as the building was being renovated – and the elevators were not functioning.
“Firefighters took one and a half hours to reach the victims and bring them down the stairs,” City Fire and Rescue Department deputy director Azizan Ismail told reporters at the scene yesterday.
“The fire started on the 27th floor when workers were cutting the air-conditioning ducts using an oxy-acetylene torch, which ignited the duct insulation.”
The fire then spread to the 30th floor through the duct system.
Azizan said that besides the lack of elevators, other difficulties were the low water pressure in the building’s wet riser system.
“Water had to be pumped up to the affected floors from the fire engines,” he said.
Azizan said an emergency call was received at 4.47pm and the first fire engine arrived three minutes later.
A total of eight fire engines with 70 firefighters from seven stations were dispatched.
Azizan added that workers had earlier failed to put out the fire using fire extinguishers. “They then ran out of the building.”
However, the five other workers were trapped and they broke the windows to let in fresh air.
They descended the building with the help of firefighters at about 6.45pm, and were rushed to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.