Toll rises in Malaysian landslide; 11 dead mostly foreigners
Oct. 23, 2017
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Two more bodies buried by a landslide in a construction site in northern Malaysia were recovered Monday, bringing the death toll to 11, mostly foreign workers.
Fire and rescue official Mohamad Rizuan Ramli said the bodies of a Bangladeshi and a Malaysian trapped deep under the rubble were finally retrieved early Monday.
A hillside crashed down early Saturday at the site where two 49-story condominiums are being built in northern Penang state, a popular tourist destination.
Three of the 14 workers buried by the landslide survived. The other victims were from China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The condominium project is now under scrutiny after authorities said it didn't obtain approval as it was too close to a granite quarry.
The Department of Environment said it had rejected the application for planning approval as the area was not safe for people to live in. Residents and activists were riled by the revelation, saying Monday in a statement that the Penang state government must explain why they ignored the environment department's advice and allowed the project to go through.
The state government has halted the project and said it would form a taskforce to investigate the tragedy.