GEORGE TOWN: Construction of the three-storey logistics complex in Batu Maung, where large concrete beams collapsed onto nine workers on Tuesday (Nov 28) night, was scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, says Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk A. Rajendran.
However, he said only about half of the project has been completed so far after almost a year of work.
"They started work at the end of last year and the project was scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.
"At the moment, construction is about 55% complete," he told The Star Wednesday (Nov 29).
When asked if work was being rushed to complete the project, he declined to comment.
"At this present time, I do not wish to comment on that," he said.
Earlier, in a press conference, Rajendran said with the mishap and a stop-work order issued on the site, the project would definitely be delayed.
"We have issued an immediate order and investigations would be conducted before action is taken.
"With this incident, it is unlikely that they will complete it in time as no work would be allowed pending investigations.
"Maybe we will give an extension," he said.
Rajendran added that working hours at the site were throughout the day and in shifts.
"The shifts are (determined by) professional consultants appointed on the site.
"Definitely it will be two or three shifts daily," he said.
Meanwhile, Penang deputy police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohamed Usuf Jan Mohamad said rescuers are still searching for four missing victims under the rubble.
"We need to remove the heavy concrete beams before accessing (the area) beneath to look for the victims.
"About 80% of the beams have been removed.
"The victims have been identified, aged from 22 to 46 years old," he said.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who also visited the site, explained that rescuers had to ensure the safety of the site before search and recovery can be conducted.
A total of nine victims were reported to be working at the site during the incident at about 9.45pm on Tuesday.
So far, five victims have been found.
Three of them have been pronounced dead while two were seriously injured.
It was reported that in March last year, Titijaya Land Berhad and DHL Supply Chain (M) Sdn signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to develop the logistics complex in Bayan Lepas.
It will comprise an office, automatic rack systems, a warehouse and various utilities.