Thu, 11 Aug 1994

Four Alcatel workers die of drowning

JAKARTA (JP): Four workers at PT Alcatel Cable, a French telecommunications company, died and another was badly injured after being submerged in a telephone cable duct in West Jakarta yesterday afternoon.

The deceased were identified as Teddy Wahyudi, 18, from Cirebon, West Java, Taufik Ismail, 20, from Kopeng, West Java, Zainal Abidin and Mursadi, 32, both residents of Jl. Tebet Barat, South Jakarta.

Their bodies were taken to the Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital's morgue for autopsies at around 3 p.m. yesterday.

The injured employee, identified by his co-workers as Naseh, 40, was said to be in critical condition at Husada hospital in West Jakarta.

"Taufik had planned to marry this Sunday, but he's gone now," a gloomy co-worker told The Jakarta Post.

The management of PT Alcatel Cable refused to comment on the incident.

The victims' co-workers said at the Cipto's morgue that the incident occurred at 1:30 p.m. when a water pipe which passes above the duct burst and submerged the victims.

The five had been busy installing telephone cables in a duct two to three meters wide and 3.5 meters deep on Jl. Pinangsia Raya, Tamansari district.

Pending the construction work, the water pipe was plugged by the workers to prevent it from filling the duct.

The other workers and passers-by who noticed the incident tried unsuccessfully to save the five, but succeeded in rescuing one worker.

Several workers expressed regret over the lack of safety facilities provided by the company.

Tamansari police have questioned three employees of the company in connection with the incident.

PT Alcatel Cable is now installing telephone cables in West Jakarta in cooperation with PT Elektrindo Nusantara, a private Indonesian company. (jsk)