4,000 in the dark as excavator snaps underground cables

concerned YB. Sarawak assistant minister for Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin (in white uniform) and engineers visiting the site where power cables were snapped in the Kuala Baram district north of Miri City yesterday. pic by Lee secretary.

MIRI: When it comes to matters involving public amenities, all it takes is one careless mistake and thousands of residents may end up suffering the consequences.

Workers of a private excavation contractor here in Miri is now facing the brunt of the authorities after a careless mistake they made which resulted in sudden disruption of electricity supply to about 4,000 people living in two major residential areas in the Kuala Baram district, about 15km north of Miri City.

These workers had been digging into the ground beside a road when their excavator accidentally hit some electricity cables.

The cables snapped due to the impact, resulting in power supply being cut off.

The disruption happened during the late afternoon of Wednesday, and until 2pm yesterday, power supply had yet to be restored.

Sarawak Assistant Minister for Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin yesterday visited the affected site.

Lee, who is also State Assemblyman for Senadin, went to thearea with engineers and technical experts from the Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) and he wanted the damaged cables to be replaced soonest possible.

He also attended an urgent briefing with the SEB regional manager of northern Sarawak.

At least 800 houses are affected by the disruption at Vista Perdana and SPNB housing estates.

Lee, who is also Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) vice-president, said SEB had lodged a police report against the contractor for causing the incident.

“The power disruption is affecting 800 households. Repair works are being carried out now by SEB to overcome the problem as soon as possible.

“Contractors doing any works in populated housing and commercial areas must get a clearance first from the relevant departments and local authorities before they go around digging up the ground in public places.

“There may be all sorts of cables and pipes laid underneath the earth surface.

“SEB will take the necessary actions to restore power supply as fast as it can,” he stressed.

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