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Three killed in landslide (Updated)

(Updated 4:40pm, 6 Dec 2008)

KUALA LUMPUR, 6 Dec 2008: A landslide occurred at about 4am today in Bukit Antarabangsa, Hulu Klang, near here and police confirmed that three people were killed in the incident which buried 14 bungalows in two housing estates. 

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said at the scene the dead were a woman and her child and a man, who have yet to be identified.

He also said that as at 10.30am, seven people were believed to be trapped in the buried houses, some of which were completely destroyed.

Khalid said 93 people escaped unscathed in the mishap which had affected bungalows in Taman Bukit Mewah and Taman Bukit Utama.

However, he said, police had ordered between 3,000 and 5,000 people in the vicinity of the landslide area to evacuate their homes, many of which were apartments.

He also said that 15 injured people had been sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

Kuala Lumpur Hospital Public Relations Officer Zaiton Abu Bakar said 14 people had been given outpatient treatment at the hospital for injuries sustained during the landslide.

The injured were administered first aid at the Addinniah surau at Bukit Antarabangsa before being sent to the nearest hospitals in ambulances, at least 12 of which were seen at the scene.

Eight of the 14 affected bungalows were in Taman Bukit Utama and the other six in Taman Bukit Mewah, according to a spokesman of the Fire & Rescue Unit at the scene.

One of the affected bungalows is owned by Datuk Mohamed Thajudeen Abdul Wahab, the principal private secretary to the prime minister. Mohamed Thajudeen and his family are safe.

According to the Fire & Rescue Unit, the landslide was caused by underground water movement.

A search and rescue operation has been mounted involving personnel from the military, Civil Defence Department, Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue (Smart) team, Fire & Rescue Unit and Ampang Jaya Municipal Council.

The landslide cut off access by the main road to the residential areas at Bukit Antarabangsa, trapping hundreds of residents there.

Residents and search and rescue personnel were using Jalan Wangsa 9 to get to Bukit Antarabangsa.

Bukit Antarabangsa State Assemblyman Azmin Ali said at the scene that earth movement continued to take place and that electricity supply to several housing estates in Bukit Antarabangsa was disrupted.

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim also visited the scene of the landslide.

He said nearby residents, many of them living in apartments, would be evacuated if the area was found to be unstable. The police subsequently instructed these residents to move out.

Today’s landslide occurred about 1.5km from the place where one of three blocks of the 12-storey Highland Towers apartments collapsed on 11 Dec 1993, killing 48 people.

The Bukit Antarabangsa landslide is also the third to occur in the Klang Valley in a week.

On Nov 30, two sisters, Noratirah Roslan, 16, and Nurul Intan Sarina, nine, were killed in a landslide which hit their bungalow in Ulu Yam Perdana, Gombak.

On 4 Dec, a landslide in Jalan Semantan caused part of the retaining wall of a car park situated between two buildings to collapse, burying six cars and damaging five other vehicles.

These landslides are believed to have been caused by movement of underground water, a condition made worse by the heavy rainfall in recent weeks. — Bernama



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