KUALA LUMPUR: Rescuers pulled out five workers out of a high-rise construction site enveloped in smoke along the Federal Highway, after a fire broke out in the building's basement.
Fire razed the basement of the planned service apartment in Persimpangan Taman Desa at about 4.30pm Sunday.
The place was being used to house over 500 foreign workers in makeshift wooden squatters, said the KL Fire and Rescue Department.
No one was killed in the massive fire as all the occupants were working in various parts of the 30-storey building at the time, said operations commander Imam Bukhari Susami.
"The workers were all evacuated and 60 FRD officers and 16 fire trucks were dispatched to the scene. It took us nearly three hours to extinguish the fire." he told reporters outside the razed 6,000 sq m basement.
Rescuers wearing gas masks had to brave thick black smoke to search for workers trapped in the building.
Five foreign workers, mostly Nepalese, were pulled out of the construction site and were sent to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for treatment.
One man suffered burns on his back, another injured his right leg during the evacuation, while the others suffered from smoke inhalation.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, said Imam Bukhari.
He said workers did not cook in the underground basement, but pointed out several fire hazards such as wooden walls and furniture.
"Currently, we are sweeping the basement to see if anyone else was trapped. We have not received any reports of workers unaccounted for.
"The structure of the building itself has not been damaged," he said.
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