Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

11th Anniversary Of The Collapse Of Highland Tower

Today is the 11th anniversary of the collapse of the Highland Tower, Kuala Lumpur. 48 innocent lives were lost in this horrible tradegy, unexpected by ano single sole.

Highland Towers, as is collectively known, consist of three blocks 12 storey high apartments named simply as Blocks 1, 2 and 3. They were constructed sometime between 1975 and 1978. Directly behind the three blocks was a rather steep hill with a stream flowing west, if it was allowed to follow its natural course. The attraction of this place was the natural surroundings with an extensive view of the city of Kuala Lumpur.

On Saturday, December 11, 1993, at about 1.30 pm, after 10 days of continuous rainfall, a landslide was triggered. Mud slipped into the basements of Block 1 and hence shifting the entire base of the building, hence the entire block collapsed, trapping residents inside. When the rescue operation was called off after days of searching, 48 people were recorded dead. Many countries like Japan and the US sent professionals to help the rescuers here to get trapped victims out from the collapsed rubble. The nation (Malaysia) declared this incident a national tragedy.

Immediately after the collapse of Block 1 the residents of Blocks 2 and 3 were prevented from entering their apartments by the local authority having jurisdiction of the area, the Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya (MPAJ), for fear of the instability of these two buildings. A couple of days later, these occupants were allowed in, in restricted numbers, but only to collect their personal valuables. At that time, even with the presence of the security forces, the apartments were looted. With the eventual passing of time especially when security was reduced and subsequently withdrawn altogether, vandalism became more intense. By 1998, when this court visited the site, every apartment in Blocks 2 and 3 was completely stripped of contents, including fittings leaving only the naked structure.


The collapse site of Highland Towers.

However, there is a extremely sad side of the tradegy. Reports said that a maid and a baby survived because her employer asked her to run before her. Her employer was waiting for her husband who is trapped in the toilet. Of course, the loving couple died in the tradegy.

Another corpse of a woman was found in the stairwell. Rescuers found that there were hard stuff under her clothes, and they thought those were rocks in there. Shockingly they discovered that those were valuables, for example, passport, jewels and cash.

A mother and a baby (dead) were found in the elevator. The baby’s hand was clinging hard onto his mother’s blouse. The mother’s chest was filled withrocks and other concrete debris. Both of them were bureid together.

I really do hope that this should not happen again. It does not only took away the loved ones from some survived victims, but also left a deep scar in their hearts.

The time I’m writing this post is 1.30 pm, the exact time when the tower collapsed. Let’s say our prayers to those were killed in the tradegy…

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