May 28, 2009


Various online news portals reported the collapse of the Jaya Supermarket building in Section 14, Petaling Jaya. The building was being torn down for redevelopment, collapsed this evening when demolition operations went awry this afternoon injuring an unspecified number of people in the busy commercial district.

According to reporters on the scene, the building is now teetering dangerously with bits and pieces still falling off. A twitter flash update from Malaysian Insider at about 7.30pm said that at least four are dead and another 50 workers are believed to be still trapped inside. The Nut Graph reported that there are five excavators found among the rubble and police dogs are being used to search the wreckage. It also reported that all the workers at the site are Indonesians.
Rescue workers at Jaya supermarket collapse in PJ on May 28. ... on Twitpic

Photos taken from THIS LINK

The STAR reported that Fire and Rescue Department personnel managed to pull out two workers and rushed them to Universiti Hospital. Both are reportedly in stable condition. Other workers are being examined by several medics on the scene.
Rescue workers within security cordon at the Jaya supermarket... on Twitpici

Picture above shows rescue workers within security cordon at the site of the collapse. Taken from THIS LINK.

Witnesses said that they saw ambulances have been rushing the injured to the nearby Universiti Hospital.

The Malaysian Insider reported that a worker who got out safely thinks as many as four people may have been killed and a further 50 or so may be trapped in the rubble.

While rescue workers are busy at the scene, the police have mounted a security cordon to keep away curious onlookers.

Ironically, the swaying building is located in an area close to a residential area. The police and the Fire and Rescue Deparment are currently ascertaining whether residents need to be vacated.

Built in 1974, the building was originally called the Jaya Shopping Centre. In fact, it was one of the first supermarkets in Petaling Jaya that survived the many facets of development until now.

Before the introduction of bigger shopping malls in the Klang Valley, Jaya Shopping Centre was one of the few lifestyle centres in Petaling Jaya Across the road, there are several new developments that have also taken up former tenants who moved out last year when it was closed down for redevelopment.

In the early 1990's, this building was embroiled in a controversy when it built a 10-storey car park extension, four storeys higher than allowed by the building plans approved by the then Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ).

The building has four storeys of retail units plus a tower block of office units and a multi-level car park.

Search and rescue operations are still being carried out to locate missing personnel trapped in the building.
*The latest update by Nut Graph at 8.30p.m. says that two workers have been rescued, one died and six are still trapped in the rubble.

*Another update by The Malaysian Insider at 10.15p.m. confirmed that two workers were killed and five others are still trapped in the rubble.

Visiting the scene, Housing And Local Government Deputy Minister, Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin said the building might have collapsed because it was overloaded, adding that there were eight excavators inside, one of which still had its engine still running. (Extracted from The Malaysian Insider)