Busy day for Penang firemen

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 02 Sep 2003

PENANG: A Fire and Rescue Department spokesman from the Perak Road station here said they received 16 calls on people trapped in lifts on the island between 10.05am and 2.41pm when the power outage hit five northern states yesterday. 

He said most of the calls came from flats and apartments except for one from the Grand Continental Hotel in Jalan Gurdwara. 

The Beach Street station responded to the call at the Grand Continental Hotel and rescued two people, a staff and a guest, trapped in two lifts. 

“In most cases, the trapped people were rescued by using keys to open the lift doors, while some were already rescued by the building’s maintenance crew when firemen arrived,” he said. 

Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said he had alerted the police chief and state secretariat to step up security, manage traffic and to be on standby to set up operations rooms. 

He added that he had also directed for the diesel pumps at the Sungai Dua water treatment plant, which could supply 60% of water to the island, to be started. 

“The Bukit Dumbar plant was, however, affected temporarily due to the power cut,” he said. 

He said there were no reports of major water supply disruption to other parts of Penang.  

Checks at the Penang Hospital showed there were no disruptions to the surgeries which went on as usual with back-up generators.  

In KANGAR, many shoppers were left waiting outside shopping complexes which only opened after 1pm when power was restored. 

“We were lucky as the power came back quite fast but we still lost some business as shoppers refrained from coming out,” said trader Hussein Ismail. 

Minor congestion was reported as motorists got stuck at traffic light junctions when the lights went out. 

In ALOR STAR, traffic policemen were deployed to major traffic light junctions to help control traffic during the power failure which started from 10am. 

Kota Star district police chief Asst Comm Hussein Bappoo said traffic was slow at major roads leading to town such as Lebuhraya Sultan Abdul Halim, Lebuhraya Darulaman and Jalan Langgar. 

In IPOH, the power failure did not deter people from thronging shopping complexes and foot outlets which were still packed with people.  

Power supply resumed in most parts of the city as of 12.30pm and fully restored before 2pm. 

Traffic policemen were also stationed at major traffic light junctions to help control traffic. 

State traffic chief Supt Hamza Taib said there was no report of traffic congestions or major accidents.  

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