KOTA KINABALU: Demolition teams swung into action at a Sandakan squatter colony where illegal power connections caused the death of a fireman.
Sandakan Municipal Council enforcement personnel raided the squatter colony near Taman Kenari, about 15km from town, on Wednesday and demolished 20 structures.
The one-hour operation, led by the council’s enforcement chief Irman Tajudin Edy, saw security personnel sweeping the area and detaining illegal immigrants.
Senior assistant enforcement chief Sairin Abdul Rahman said 16 council workers were involved in the operation together with policemen and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) staff.
Fireman Apolos Jeremos was electrocuted while battling a bushfire near the squatter colony on Monday.
Apolos is believed to have been killed when the fire hose he was holding came into contact with the live cable of an illegal connection between a sewerage pump house of the housing estate and the squatter colony.
SESB general manager (asset management) Muhamad Nazri Pazil said power thefts occurred in 111 squatter settlements in the state.
Power thefts were most rampant in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Tawau, he said.
He said the problem persisted despite SESB carrying out more than 100 disconnection operations every year.