Two persons were killed and 11 Indian nationals injured, some of them seriously, when a scaffolding with several slabs of granite and construction materials plunged 15 metres to the ground in the Malaysian capital and hit the workers standing beneath.
The accident took place at the construction site of a swank condominium-cum-boutique hotel complex in downtown Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. One of the dead was a Malaysian national while the other was from Myanmar.
The Indians were all reported to be from Punjab who had come to Malaysia to work as construction site workers.
They were on the ground floor when the scaffolding crashed on them. Four of the injured were reported to be in a serious condition.
One of the injured workers, 22-year-old Rampal Singh whose arm got fractured was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying that he had managed to jump clear just before the slabs hit the ground.
"I am returning to India when I recover," he told the daily.
Another daily identified the injured as Balraj Singh, 21, Pratap Singh and Arjan Singh, 22, Aman Singh 23, Kala Singh and Gurbachan Singh 24, Subash Kumar 26, Gurnam Singh 30, Jamuna Prasad 33, Rampal Singh 37 and Kashmeer Singh 40.
Work has been suspended at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur project site by authorities. Human Resources minister Fong Chan Onn said he would not compromise on safety at construction sites.
The Kuala Lumpur Department of Occupational Safety and Health director Omar Piah said 17 people died at construction sites in the city and at the administrative capital of Putrajaya last year. The incidents happened at 10 construction sites, he was quoted by the media as saying.
One of the accidents that hit media headlines here last year was the death of a management consultant who was killed when a 720 kg concrete mould fell on his far from a 20th floor of a partly completed complex.