The landslide added to concerns in Penang about the pace of development, particularly near the island's hills, which critics say is damaging the environment and increasing the risk of such accidents.
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. He said the bodies of two Indonesians and an unidentified foreigner have been recovered. The Fire and Rescue Department is still working to extricate the trapped construction workers. "We have deployed a K9 unit with three dogs to search for victims", Penang fire and rescue department director Saadon Mokhtar said.
Outside the construction site relatives of the missing gathered.
The Penang government should be fully responsibe for the landslide in Tanjung Bungah which buried 14 workers, three of whom have died, Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu said.
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Earlier, a civic police volunteer had died of injuries sustained in a low-intensity blast near the Kalimpong police station. This incident was the second casualty the police suffered in tackling the unrest in the Hills in recent times.
Security forces conduct a rescue operation at a construction site after a landslide in Penang, Malaysia, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. "There was hardly time to do anything", he was quoted as saying.
Penang city Mayor Maimunah Mohamad Sharif said weather on the island was dry and the cause of the landslide wasn't clear.
They added assistance will be provided to the family, while expressing condolences to the victims who have died.
Firemen, Civil Defence personnel, several ambulances and the police have arrived at the scene and have begun to search for the other buried victims.