11 foreign workers killed in Malaysian construction site landslide

October 22, 2017 - 6:32 PM
Rescue workers carry the body of a landslide victim at a construction site in Tanjung Bungah, a suburb of George Town, Penang, Malaysia. (photo by Lai Seng Sin, Reuters)

KUALA LUMPUR — Eleven foreign workers were killed in a landslide at a construction site in northwest Malaysia on Saturday, authorities said.

Earlier estimates had put the George Town death toll at 14, but three workers had managed to escape, said Ervin Galen Teruki, deputy operations head of the Fire and Rescue Department in Penang state.

A seventh body was found on Sunday morning.

Fire officials earlier identified the victims as foreign workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan. The construction site supervisor, a Malaysian, remains missing.

The landslide occurred on Saturday morning at a site where two 49-story condominium towers are being built. The cause has yet to be determined.

A stop-work order had been issued for the development, pending investigations, according to the Penang Island city council mayor Maimunah Mohammad Sharif.

Several residential and commercial towers are still under construction in the area.

Local media reported anger among residents and activists, some of who said they had previously protested against the increasing development of hillslopes around the area.