Saturday, June 8, 2013

Penang ramp collapse: Body of ex-cop retrieved from rubble

Police retrieved a body of a former policeman from a crushed Perodua Kelisa buried under the rubble of a collapsed section of a ramp at the second Penang bridge's Batu Maung interchange.

State deputy police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Jaafar said the body of Tajudin Zainal Abidin (pic), 45, was found slumped over the dashboard of the car in the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.

Rescuers begin extricating the body at 4.30pm. The process took four hours.

A relative of the victim was so shocked by the sight of the body that he fainted. He was carried away on a stretcher and taken to the Penang Hospital.

The body was sent to the Penang Hospital mortuary.

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Meanwhile, a badly damaged vehicle, believed to be a Land Rover, was extricated from the rubble at around 12.15am today.

Initial search did not indicate the presence of anyone trapped or killed in the wreckage but rescuers were still searching for possible casualties at press time.

Clearing work was also temporarily halted pending the arrival of the K9 detection unit, which was expected at about 2am.

Deputy Chief Minister I Mohd Rashid Hasnon, along with state executive councillor Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim, arrived at the site at about 12.40am for a short visit.

“We extend our condolences to the victim's family for their loss,” said Mohd Rashid when met at the site.

Earlier, SAC Abdul Rahim said there was only one victim in the car.

He declined to describe the condition of the body out of res-pect to the victim's family.

“We are continuing with our search and rescue efforts as people have claimed several vehicles are trapped under the rubble.

“However, as of now, only one family has approached us about a missing person,” said SAC Abdul Rahim.

As at press time, more than 300 personnel comprising policemen, firemen, voluntary firefighters, personnel from the Civil Defence Department and contractors were continuing the operation to clear the collapsed concrete and steel rubble.

Penang Fire and Rescue Department deputy director Mohamad Shoki Hamzah said four hydraulic jacks, each capable of lifting 200 tonnes, were installed to raise the thick concrete slabs.
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