Four foreign workers, including three Bangladeshis, have been killed and 10 others are still missing following a landslide in George Town, capital of the northwest Malaysian state of Penang, authorities said on Saturday.
Two other workers escaped with light injuries, reports Reuters.
Penang fire and rescue department director Saadon Mokhtar said most of those trapped at the construction site, where two 49-storey condominium towers are being built, were believed to be foreign workers from Indonesia and Bangladesh, including Rohingyas. One Malaysian, the construction site supervisor, was believed to be buried as well.
This handout from the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia taken and received on October 21, 2017 shows rescue workers carrying a landslide victim into a lorry at a construction site in Tanjung Bungah in the north of Penang PHOTO:AFP
"Now the problem we are facing is we need to excavate a 35-metre heap of earth. We have deployed a K9 unit with three dogs to search for victims," he said.
Rescuers rushed to the Tanjung Bungah area on the north of Penang after the accident was reported just before 9am (Malaysian time), the fire and rescue department said, reports AFP.
Penang Island City Council mayor Maimunah Sharif said it was not clear what caused the accident but ruled out the possibility of wet weather as there had not been heavy rains for some days.
The rapid pace of construction on Penang has raised concerns about damage to the environment and that rules regarding safety are not always adhered to.
Tanjung Bungah, north of Penang's capital George Town, is home to beaches and some hotels, and is popular with expatriate residents.
George Town, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is a former British colonial trading outpost famed for its mix of architectural and religious influences and vast range of street food.