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Despite ramp collapse, Second Penang bridge still ahead of schedule

News Straits Times Online, 10 Jun 2013

GEORGE TOWN: The 24km Second Penang Bridge is expected to be completed ahead of time despite a section of one of the ramps at the Batu Maung interchange collapsing on Thursday.

 Concessionaire Jambatan Kedua Sdn Bhd (JKSB) public relations and communications department deputy manager Azizi Azizan said this was because the construction of the bridge was two months ahead of schedule.

The bridge, he said, was originally slated for completion in November. However, JKSB had announced that it would instead be completed in September.

“Any delay now will depend on investigations carried out by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).”

Azizi said DOSH needed a month to carry out an investigation into the collapse.

 "DOSH is investigating the incident and it will issue a detailed report. Even if the project is delayed for a month, we are still ahead of the original deadline of November."

He added that the collapse of the interchange ramp did not involve the bridge structure itself.

"It involved only the concrete ramp and steel girders in Package 3A at the exit passage from the bridge to the highway on the island part."

   Azizi said JKSB had to comply with the stop-work order for the bridge.

"We will clear the area only when it (DOSH) has completed the investigation," he said, adding the area had been cordoned off for safety.

On Thursday, a Perodua Kelisa driven by former policeman Tajudin Zainal Abidin was crushed when the ramp collapsed at 7.15pm, killing him and injuring three motorists.

 DOSH yesterday roped in a panel of experts to investigate the incident.

State DOSH director Mohd Anuar Embi said a team of 13 men from his department had been deployed to the scene since the day of the collapse to investigate the cause.

"The team, comprising three forensics experts from Putrajaya and senior officers from Penang, will look at factors contributing to the collapse, worker competency, management of contractors and whether work procedures were adhered to," he said at the scene yesterday.

"They will also look at standard operating procedures, materials used and whether the scaffolding  complied with national standards."

Anuar added that the team's initial investigation would focus on the failure of the support.

"We will look at the design and installation of the support. Wrong design or installation and lack of maintenance would have caused the bridge to collapse."

   He said those found responsible for the incident could be charged under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 if they had failed to adhere to provisions.

He added the department had a month to carry out a probe at the site before presenting the findings to the Human Resources Ministry.

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Penang Department of Occupational Safety and Health director Mohd Anuar Embi (right) and his team surveying the site of the collapse in Batu Maung yesterday. Pic by Danial Saad


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