Pudu cave-in

03 Jul 2014 / 10:23 H.

>> Authorities fear a larger part of the area may also collapse.
>> Monorail services between Imbi and Hang Tuah stations suspended until further notice.
>> DBKL warns that half the city will suffer a black out if a TNB power cable there is affected by water.
>> Nine areas in the vicinity faced water supply interruption and low water pressure.
>> Motorists advised to avoid area. Normal traffic flow expected to resume only after two weeks.
KUALA LUMPUR: Two huge sink-holes (pix) caused traffic chaos in the Kuala Lumpur city centre at the Jalan Pudu-Jalan Imbi traffic lights intersection, where a 35-metre long underground road tunnel is being built by City Hall (DBKL) – the first measuring about 12m deep and 19m wide appeared at 9.30am and the second at 12.20pm.
No casualties were reported but construction workers at the site were shaken when several of them managed to scramble to safety seconds before a 19m wide and 12m deep hole appeared at about 9.30am.
At about 12.20pm, just when City Hall and other relevant authorities were inspecting the damage, another part of the road collapsed into a similar-sized sinkhole, sending those nearby scurrying to safety.
Monorail services through the area was suspended soon after the first sinkhole appeared as a precautionary measure.
Police sealed the intersection and diverted traffic to alternative routes.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) director-general of project implementation and maintenance Datuk Mohd Najib Mohd said the sinkhole was a result of soil erosion caused by a burst water pipe belonging to Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas).
He said said vibrations beneath the road caused by passing vehicles may have caused damage to the water pipes.
"The pipe location is very shallow and quite close to the road. This might be the cause of the ruptured pipe. We expect to complete repairs and resume normal traffic flow in the area within two weeks," he told a press conference at the scene.
KL Fire and Rescue Department deputy director Azizan Ismail said Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) pipe broke in today's incident during the cave-in, and the department had requested Syabas to seal the water pipe to avoid worsening the situation.
"As a temporary safety measure, the contractor is now pumping water out from the site before piling work could be carried out to strengthen the area," he said.
Azizan said the department was still waiting for investigation by Syarikat Prasarana Negara, the KL Monorail operator, to ensure the monorail pillars at the location were intact.
He also said a Tenaga Nasional Berhad cable passes near the affected area.
"If the cables are damaged, half of the city will suffer a blackout," Azizan said.
Azizan said the ongoing construction was a 35m tunnel to ease the two-way traffic on Jalan Pudu.
He said when the project is completed, traffic on Jalan Pudu may bypass the Jalan Pudu-Jalan Imbi traffic lights.
Meanwhile, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) said the cave-in was not related to the MRT project.
"The Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT route does not pass through the area of the incident," MRT Corp said in a statement today.
City traffic police chief ACP Mohd Nadzri Hussain said police will be on duty at the site to ensure smooth flow of traffic during peak hours.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area, if possible.


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