Worker dies in manhole, another missing

Fire and Rescue Department personnel looking at the manhole in Tanjung Tokong in which Mohd Rashidi Mohd Rusli drowned while doing maintenance work for Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd. His co-worker, Zakaria Ahmad, is still missing.

GEORGE TOWN(17/04/2011): A worker conducting maintenance work in an underground sewerage system in Tanjung Tokong here, drowned while his co-worker was still missing, after the water level inside the drain suddenly rose and swept them off.
The body of Mohd Rashidi Mohd Rusli, 20, was pulled out about 1.10pm while rescuers were still searching for Zakaria Ahmad, 32.

The duo and another co-worker were with a contractor engaged by Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) to carry out maintenance work at the stretch in front of the Marina Bay condominium in Tanjung Tokong here since 9am yesterday.

It is learnt that the duo, who did not use any safety and protection gear, descended into the manhole and was swept away by the rising water.
Penang Fire and Rescue Department deputy director (operations) Mohd Razam Taja Rahim said a team of 10 firefighters from Bagan Jermal station, two units from the Hazmat (Hazardous Material) and a scuba squad, were sent to the scene.

Another co-worker, Mohd Sufian Mohd Yusof, 19, said they were clearing the sand to improve water flow. He said he was working inside a manhole while the duo were in another hole 500m away.

He said he got a call from a colleague to check on the duo and went to the manhole where they had been working.

"I called out to them many times, but they never replied."

Zakaria's wife, Nas Fatihah Azman, 26, who was at the scene, said she tried calling her husband at 1pm, but could not reach him.

"I found out two hours later that there had been an accident and he might have drowned."

The couple has been married for nine years and has two sons, aged eight and six.

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