Penang city council lets hotel stay open despite fatal retaining wall collapse

Penang Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang speaks to reporters during the launch of the Karpal Singh Digital Hub at Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Gelugor in Gelugor June 27, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang speaks to reporters during the launch of the Karpal Singh Digital Hub at Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Gelugor in Gelugor June 27, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, June 27 — The resort where a retaining wall collapsed and killed four workers has been allowed to continue operating as normal, local authorities said today.

Penang Island City Council (MBPP) Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said the collapse in the backyard of the Lost Paradise Resort need not result in an order to cease operations.

“The hotel is still in operation but we are closely monitoring the site so if there are any safety issues, we will take immediate action,” he said.

Aside from the MBPP, he said the Public Works Department (PWD) was also observing the safety of the site.

“This was not a landslide but a collapse of the retaining wall that was illegally built by the resort owner and now, we are conducting mitigation works and investigations into this,” he said during a press conference after an event at SK Sungai Gelugor here.

He added that the city council will await proposals from experts on further action.

“We have experts conducting investigations and mitigation works on site and if they propose that the resort shut down operations temporarily, we will issue the notice, this is for the safety of all parties including road users,” he said.

General view of the cordoned-off site where a retaining wall of a hotel collapsed, killing four, in Tanjung Bungah June 26, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
General view of the cordoned-off site where a retaining wall of a hotel collapsed, killing four, in Tanjung Bungah June 26, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

He said it is important to ensure the stability and strength of the main road, Jalan Batu Ferringhi.

He reminded all property and landowners that even if the works are on private land, any construction or earthworks required approval from the local authority.

The retaining wall that was being constructed illegally on a slope between the resort grounds and the main road above it collapsed on Tuesday night, killing four Myanmar workers.

The bodies of the workers were recovered from the rubble after about six hours of search and rescue operations by the Fire and Rescue Department, Special Tactical Operations Rescue team, police and the Civil Defence Department.

Now, one lane of Jalan Batu Ferringhi is closed to traffic to allow for mitigation and repair works of about 50m of the road that was damaged due to the collapse.

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