Flood mitigation project in Melaka halts as investigation into fatal accident continues


MELAKA: The Melaka Government has ordered a flood mitigation project at Bukit Katil here to be temporarily halted following the death of a 20-year-old and the injury of two others after their motorcycles plunged into an under-construction drain.

Melaka works, infrastructure, public amenities and transport committee chairman Datuk Hameed Mytheen Kunju Basheer said the Melaka Public Works Department (JKR) has been ordered to investigate the incident and immediately placed concrete barriers to divert traffic.

"For the time being, we will not allow work to be carried out until the Public Works Department gives clearance," he said after visiting the site on Thursday (Jan 4).

Hammed said the investigation would determine whether the contractor adhered to the standard operating procedures when placing the safety barriers to warn motorists passing the stretch where the project was being executed.

"The JKR will work closely with the Occupational Safety and Health Department and police to complete the investigation. Preliminary evaluation on the incident showed that the contractor had taken the safety measures to block the worksite," he said.

Hammed said the project to widen 30m of the intake drainage had been carried out for the past six months and was expected to be fully completed by July 7 this year.

He said the Traffic Management Plan (TMP) implemented at the project site was according to the specifications approved by JKR.

"For now, we discount the possibility of negligence on the part of ensuring traffic diversion, which was most likely the cause of the incident with the TMP in place.

"However, we will wait for the JKR's outcome to get the exact picture of the cause of the incident," he said.

Earlier, Melaka Tengah OCPD Asst Comm Christopher Patit said the incident was caused after safety barriers placed by contractors were deliberately removed.

He said the three motorcyclists were passing through the worksite of the flood mitigation project at the traffic junction when the freak incident occurred at 6.30am on Thursday (Jan 4).

He identified the deceased as Haiqal Iaman Mohd Shahruddin Abdul Qayyum from Taman Suajana Indah, Ayer Keroh, while the injured as Mohd Zaim Bahrin, 31, from Alor Gajah and Chong Min Yang, 57, from Taman Kerjasama, Bukit Beruang.

Mohd Zaim sustained head injuries and fractured his left leg, while Chong suffered injuries on both his legs after plunging 1.5m.

ACP Christopher Patit said the three were on their way from Bukit Katil to Bukit Beruang without realising that part of the stretch was closed due to the absence of safety barriers to warn them.

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