Cracks at Tanjung Bungah site began in June, Commissioner of Inquiry told
Expert panel: (From right) Yeo, Dr Gue and Prof Ramli arriving for the inquiry.
GEORGE TOWN: A temporary structure supporting a worksite slope in Tanjung Bungah developed cracks in mid-June, a Commissioner of Inquiry heard.
Soil Mechanic Sdn Bhd director Cheah Wing How, who was a sub-contractor of the project where a landslide killed 11 workers, said he was informed by a clerk to carry out remedial works as the granite wall had cracked.
Cheah said his team left after completing the granite works and soil-nailing works to enhance the stability of the temporary slope.
There was, however, no mention when they completed the works.
“When we returned, we found there were pile cap excavation works carried out near the slope.
“We believe there was soil movement that resulted in the cracks on the granite wall.
“We were carrying out remedial works and 11 days into the job, the landslide happened,” said Cheah, who has 20 years’ experience in the field.
Cheah was testifying on the first day of the public hearing into the landslide tragedy by the State Commission of Inquiry (SCI) at City Hall in Esplanade yesterday.
On Oct 21, last year, a landslide hit the affordable condominium project made up of two 49-storey towers with 980 units in total within the Permai Village township near the Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.
Among the 11 killed was site supervisor Yuan Kuok Wern, 27.
During the proceeding, the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) also presented eight drone videos that showed the slope and the surrounding area after the tragic incident.
SCI chairman Datuk Yeo Yong Poh said they planned to carry out a site visit tomorrow.
He also fixed the hearing to continue until Monday, followed by Feb 8 to Feb 11, March 24 to March 28 and April 18 to 25.
Other members of the commission are geotechnical expert Datuk Dr Gue See Sew and forensic geo-technical engineer from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Prof Ramli Nazir.
The SCI was gazetted on Dec 21 last year to investigate the landslide after Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Rahman Abbas gave his consent on Dec 6, 2017, for the appointment of the members of the commission and its terms of reference.
Meanwhile, Penang Citizens Awareness Chant Group (Chant) adviser Yan Lee said the entrance to the Teik Granite Quarry, which is located near the site where the landslide occurred, should be fenced up.
“Anyone can just walk into the site as the safety measure is not up to mark.
“We have voiced our concern to the Penang Island City Council, the Department of Environment as well as the Land and Mines Department,” he said yesterday.
By Chong Kah Yuan and Jo-Leen Wong The Star
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