Temporary TNB Tower Collapses Killing One, Injuring Four

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Temporary TNB tower collapses killing one, injuring four


KOTA KINABALU: A fast track Tenaga Nasional Berhad transmission tower to replace the one stolen by scrap metal thieves collapsed, killing a man and injuring four others.

Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd are puzzled as to how the emergency restoration system (ERS) tower could have toppled at Suang Parai in Inanam here at about 10.30am Tuesday.

One of the injured technicians is reported to be in critical condition at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the other three were at the Likas Hospital. No details of their condition were made available.

The 35m aluminium alloy ERS tower was a temporary replacement for the 132kV tower stolen by thieves on April 21 that caused a blackout covering 90% of Sabah.

Materials for the RM3.4m ERT were specially flown in by the Air Force the day after the blackout with 30 TNB emergency response team members also brought in from Kuala Lumpur to erect the tower for normal power supply to resume.

At 10.30am Tuesday, the tower, which had been erected and was at the stage of having the conductors fixed, collapsed while five workers were perched on top at various points of the beam with some 25 others working on the ground.

Sabah Electricity in a statement identified the dead as Mohd Hairrisham Mohhamad and the injured were Hamran Mohamad, Vijaya Kumar A/L Velayutham, Adnan Hassan and Khairul Azman Che Soh who were all treated at the Queen Elibeth Hospital after initial treatment at Likas Hospital here.

Reporters were stopped from entering the site along the gravel road between Kayu Madang and University Malaysia Sabah as police tried to ascertain the cause of the collapse.

Kota Kinabalu city police chief Asst Comm Ahmad Sofi Zakaria said police do not suspect any criminal element involved but were waiting for technical reports from the geologist and Sabah Electricity officials to ascertain the cause.

He said police had secured the area to facilitate further investigations and asked villagers to use an alternative road to the villages.

TNB, in a statement issued in Kuala Lumpur, said that one of the four cables supporting the ERS had unplugged and had apparently made the tower unstable before three other supporting cables also unplugged causing the tower to topple over.


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