JOHOR BARU, Dec 24 — A 47-year-old driver was killed after his lorry skidded into a retaining wall before plunging into a water-filled ditch at the Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) project site in Stulang Laut here today.
It is understood that the 45-tonne lorry was carrying sand for the construction of the Johor Baru-Singapore RTS Link along Jalan Ibrahim Sultan in Stulang Laut.
The driver Rosnani Siam suffered serious head and body injuries in the 8.45am incident in which he was trapped inside the lorry after it plunged into the ditch.
Rescue personnel attempting to locate the lorry driver in the ditch at the Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) project site in Stulang Laut in Johor Baru December 24, 2022. — Picture courtesy of the Johor Fire and Rescue Department
Operations commander Deputy Fire Superintendent I Suhaimi Jamal said firemen had to use a 350-tonne crane to lift the lorry out of the ditch.
“The operation was a bit complicated as part of the lorry was submerged in an area filled with water.
“We received an emergency call regarding the incident at 8.51am before 20 members from the Larkin fire station were despatched to the scene,” he said in a statement tonight.
Suhaimi explained that the victim was found trapped in the sand.
“We also received the assistance of six members of the department’s underwater rescue team from the Skudai fire station as the water in the ditch was about two metres deep at that time,” he said.
Suhaimi said the victim’s body was later removed at 8.08pm, after more than 10 hours of operation.
“The victim’s remains were later handed over to the police before being sent to Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) here for a post-mortem,” he said.
The operation today involved a total strength of 39 personnel, including firemen, policemen, Ministry of Health paramedics and an underwater team.
The entire operation ended at 8.45pm.
This is the first time that a fatal incident has occurred at the RTS Link construction area.
The RTS Link is a cross-border rail service spanning four kilometres between the Malaysian station in Bukit Chagar, Johor Baru and Singapore station at Woodlands North. The Malaysian portion will cover 2.7km, while the remaining 1.3km is in Singapore.
The project will also include the building of a new customs, immigration and quarantine complex (CIQ) facility next to the Bukit Chagar station, which interchanges with Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) and Iskandar Rapid Transit.
The project, a modern light rail transit (LRT) system with a capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour, per direction and an expected ridership of about 40,000 passengers per day upon opening, is expected to be completed by end-2026.