GEORGE TOWN: The bodies of four foreign workers buried alive in a freak landslide at a construction site in Batu Feringghi here have been recovered.
George Town OCPD Asst Comm Che Zaimani Che Awang said the first body was recovered at 11.18pm, the second at 11.49pm, the third at 12.17am and the final body was recovered at 3.35am.
"They were all male, and we are still unsure of their age range.
"Three of the victims were discovered in a standing position still holding the metal pieces (sticks) for the retention wall while one was leaning over.
"The search and recovery process was prolonged due to multiple metal sticks that were placed at the site of the landslide.
"The victims were placing these sticks to build the retaining wall.
"The digging process was hindered by the metal sticks and some of the victims also sustained injuries from these metal sticks.
"The search and recovery has now ended as we have recovered the bodies of all four victims," he said during a press conference held at the site along Jalan Batu Feringghi on Wednesday (June 26).
ACP Che Zaimani said unfortunately the victims did not have any documentation that would identify them.
"We will, however, be referring the case to the embassy for assistance as well as fingerprint identification.
"I take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to all the parties involved in the search," he said.
ACP Che Zaimani said the incident took place around 9.21pm at the Lost Paradise Resort along Jalan Batu Feringghi.
He said a gardener working at the premises heard a loud noise and saw the landslide happening. He then alerted the owner of the resort and subsequently they called the authorities.
"The resort owner had contracted a Myanmar worker who went by the name Ong to build a retaining wall, after realising that the hill separating the resort and Jalan Batu Ferringhi had signs of erosion.
"Ong has been working as part of the maintenance staff at the resort for almost three years.
"Ong hired three of his friends who were also Myanmar nationals to assist with the job.
"They were paid RM400 a day including the charges for materials used to build the retaining wall.
"The owner does not know the other three workers.
"They were contracted to finish the work in 20 days having started working on the wall last week," he said.
There were over 117 personnel involved in the search and recovery of the four victims.
[Video] Mayat pertama kejadian tanah runtuh di tapak pembinaan Jalan Tanjung Bungah tiba di Jabatan Perubatan Forensik pada 2.35 pagi untuk dibedah siasat. pic.twitter.com/pusq4Nqxrr— BERNAMA (@bernamadotcom) June 25, 2019