MARUDI (Nov 17): Work to repair major cracks on the road near Berikau, Lawas where an explosion along the Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline (SSGP) occurred yesterday is underway, said Lawas Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) chief Azman Ibrahim.
When contacted today, he said the cracks along the section of road are believed to have been caused by soil movement in the area.
“Yes, there were cracks along that section of the road. Because of the cracks, the road is not passable to all vehicles pending the repair works,” he said.
Azman said contractors in the area have started to carry out repair works.
“My men have been sent to the site to check and monitor the situation on the ground,” he added.
The road is the lifeline for the Lun Bawang community in Lawas.
It is the only road that connects Lawas to Ba Kelalan and beyond.
If the road is not repaired before polling day on Saturday, it is believed that thousands of voters expected to travel back to vote at their respective polling stations under the Lawas parliamentary seat would be affected.
In the incident yesterday, a foreign worker was killed while three local men were injured in an explosion near the affected pipeline.
The body of the deceased, identified as Hadi Wiyono, was found in an excavator that was completely destroyed by the fire, which also scorched three other vehicles, the Bomba Sarawak operation centre said.
It said the radius of the fire near Berikau was about 400 metres.
The fire could be seen from miles around, towering over the forest.
Petronas said in a statement that a third-party contractor was believed to have been involved in the incident.
The contractor is said to have been performing work unrelated to SSGP operations near the pipeline’s Right-of-Way (ROW) area.