Collapsed structure not a telecommunication tower: MCMC

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 (Bernama) -- The tower atop the Umno building in Jalan Macalister, Penang which collapsed because of a thunderstorm yesterday and caused one death, was a lightning arrestor and not a telecommunication tower as reported before.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's (MCMC) Northern Regional Office head, Ahmad Nor Hisham Mohd Yusop said a visit to the scene found that the collapsed tower was a lightning arrestor that was cosmetically designed to reflect a more suitable appearance.

"We confirmed that the collapsed structure was not a telecommunication tower. It was a lightning arrestor built cosmetically. A structure that held the tower in its place also collapsed and crashed onto the road," he said in a statement, here, today.

In GEORGE TOWN, meanwhile, the owner of the Umno building, JKP Sdn Bhd (JKP) will carry out work to remove the beam which is still hanging on the building to enable road cleaning works at the vicinity to be carried out.

Its chief executive officer Adzmi Ariffin said they had rented a crane for the purpose and called on people to be patient until all cleaning works were complete.

He said the 21-storey building was purchased from the Amanah Capital Bhd in 2005 and it was strong as maintenance work was carried out periodically and described the incident as a natural disaster.

Adzmi said the building which was completed in 1997, would reopen on Monday as it only affected the lightning arrestor.

The incident also caused residents at Datuk Keramat, Kampung Jawa, Komtar and Jalan Anson to experience water disruption as the underground pipes along the road were damaged.

Yesterday's storm wreaked havoc in 21 areas in Penang which also caused the structure atop the Umno building to collapse and crush seven vehicles, including a pick up truck parked below.

Jahir Sulaiman, 46, the co-driver of a pick up truck was seriously injured and later died at the Penang Hospital after the structure collapsed on the vehicle which was driven by his colleague.