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Just last Friday (January 25), the Bukit Bintang City Centre (BBCC) construction in Pudu was shaken as an entire part of the site collapsed into the ground, reported the Malay Mail. A local developer has confirmed that a “localised failure of a slab” was what caused the collapse.
The incident happened at 8.23pm. Thankfully, there has been no reported injury to any person or property damage, confirmed the press statement released by Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld) in response to the incident.
The report also says, “The relevant authorities were informed and investigations to identify the root cause of the incident were undertaken immediately. In the meantime, the affected area was cordoned off whilst works continued as normal on other parts of the site which were not affected by the incident.”
Photos of the site leaked not long after the collapse and circulated across social media and messaging apps showing images of the structural damage.
The BBCC development is a whopping RM8.7 billion, 6.7 million sq ft project including a massive retail mall, a concert hall, two luxury hotels, and premium service apartments.
It’s also built upon the grounds where the infamous Pudu jail once stood. Standing for a century since it’s construction, the heritage site was demolished in 2009. UMNO Finance Minister Awang Adek Hussain commented on the prison, saying, “It’s not something to be proud of.”
Indeed, the history of Pudu Prison is one shrouded in mystery and horror. Constructed on top of an ancient Chinese graveyard in 1891, the prison was built by the forced labour of criminals.
Shortly after it opened, a massive cholera outbreak ended the lives of hundreds of prisoners. The plague was traced to a well leftover from the graveyard, where the deceased were buried. Pudu prison would quickly gain a reputation of being haunted, with inmates allegedly hearing cries and screams in the night.
If that wasn’t enough, the prison administered many severe punishments, from caning to executions. Many hardened criminals met their end at the gallows of Pudu Prison. During the Japanese occupation in World War II, they would use the prison to torture and execute prisoners of war. All of this would add to the eerie history of the prison, with reports of ghost sightings rife amongst the prisoners, staff and nearby locals.
Some netizens believe the land is cursed and even suggested that its dark history might have had a part to play in the collapse.
“Is this site really very haunted? Many guilty and ‘innocent’ prisoners were executed here. Will their restless souls always haunt this site and cause many bankruptcies and suicides among those residing here?” One commenter pondered.
Others have rebuffed such superstition, citing poor construction planning instead.
“Nah, more like inexperienced engineering. Classic punching failure, mixing steel column with flat slab while not providing sufficient step.”
We guess it’s one of those things we’ll never know.
Strangely enough, there was another large structural collapse a few years back in 2014, right outside the prison walls.
Was it truly an engineering issue? Is the ground haunted by its bloody history or is the area merely geologically unstable? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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