Blaze is 5th Incident near Hub

Fire extinguishing system didn’t work on affected floors

The fire raging through the top floors of Lot 348 near KL Sentral yesterday.
Pic courtesy of Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department

THE blaze that razed two top floors of a building under construction near KL Sentral here yesterday added to the list of untoward incidents near the transport hub.

Apart from the early morning fire yesterday, construction sites in the area had also seen at least four incidents -- three of which resulted in fatalities.

On Dec 14, it was reported that a 28-year-old Bangladeshi worker fell to his death from the 38th floor of Lot G which was under construction.

The incident occurred about 8.30pm when the worker, known only as Hassan, slipped and fell to the ground floor.

City Fire and Rescue Department assistant director (operations) Azizan Ismail said another incident happened on Oct 11 when a platform on the first floor of the Nu Sentral building collapsed.

 A 35-year-old Bangladeshi worker was rushed to hospital after he fell 4m from the platform.

"On Jan 4 last year, the fifth floor of the Bank Rakyat office in Jalan Ang Seng, which was under construction, collapsed, killing two workers," Azizan added.

The debris had fallen 17m below on several workers.
He said about 10 years ago, the construction site of a five-star hotel caught fire, causing three fatalities.

"Several kongsi (workers' quarters) at the construction site caught fire, killing three workers."

On yesterday’s incident, Azizan said firemen faced difficulties controlling the blaze at Lot 348 as the fire extinguishing system installed in the building only reached the 25th floor.

 "We believe the blaze started   on the 30th floor before spreading to the 31st floor. The   staircase from the 25th floor to the top floors also caught fire. The firemen had to carry hoses and other equipment up the building."

He said any building of more than 10 storeys under construction was supposed to have a fire extinguishing system installed at the two floors below the latest level being built.

"We believe the blaze spread rapidly because of the wooden planks and oil used to separate the planks from concrete structures.

"The department despatched 14 fire engines and 95 firemen, and managed to control the blaze at 8.30am.

 "We had to use fire extinguishing equipment from the Suasana Loft condominium nearby, besides taking water from its swimming pool, to fight the blaze."

 Azizan said the department was investigating the cause of fire.

Meanwhile, developer Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) said in a statement the building was not occupied when the fire started.

A MRCB spokesman said the 33-storey building was scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. Petroleum company Shell is to be its main tenant.

Department of Occupational Safety and Health director-general Datuk Dr Johari Basri said the fire was being investigated.

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