MRT Corp chief quits over deadly site mishap

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — MRT Corp chief executive Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid today tendered his resignation to shoulder the blame for a deadly site accident in which one worker died and two others remain missing.

According to the firm’s corporate communications department, Azhar’s resignation will take effect tomorrow.

“Yes I have resigned, because of yesterday’s accident,” Azhar told Malay Mail Online when contacted for verification.

“As the head of MRT Corp, I am taking personal responsibility for the incident and this is the correct thing to do. I have informed the Chairman of MRT Corp, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, of my decision”

In the mishap that occurred at the MRT worksite within the former Rubber Research Institute (RRI) near Kota Damansara last night, three workers were buried in the rubble after a 490-tonne span fell from its berth on a guideway that was under construction.

The body of one worker, Bangladeshi national Mohammad Elahi Hossain, 27, was recovered early this morning, while two others, Mohamad Faruk Khan and Mohammad Alauddin Mollik, remain missing.

This morning, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak ordered a full investigation into the incident.

MRT Corp Chief Executive Officer Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid will resign effective tomorrow after the deadly incident in Kota Damansara. — Picture by Choo Choy May
MRT Corp Chief Executive Officer Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid will resign effective tomorrow after the deadly incident in Kota Damansara. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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Prior to his resignation today, Azhar had vowed from the scene of the accident that MRT Corp will co-operate fully with authorities to ensure a comprehensive investigation.

“No effort will be spared in getting to the bottom of this tragic incident. We will also not spare anyone whose actions are found to have caused or contributed to this accident,” he said in a statement this morning.

Works at the affected package is suspended until further notice.

The Klang Valley MRT project is an ambitious undertaking to connect the Greater Kuala Lumpur area via a three-line rail transit network. The construction of its first line began 2011 and is scheduled for completion in 2016.

Azhar was appointed CEO of MRT Corp on Sept 1, 2011 after the government took over the project from Syarikat Prasarana Malaysia Bhd.

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