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KULIM, July 19 (Bernama) -- Six hundred people lost their jobs when a

rubber products factory at the Padang Meha Industrial Zone in Padang Serai near

here was razed in a

fire this morning.

No casualties were reported and losses was estimated at RM106 million.

The factory owner, Datuk Eng Hock Sing, said he was informed by the workers

that a section of the factory was on fire when he arrived at the factory at


"I ordered the 300-odd morning shift workers to vacate the premises and save

themselves. The Fire and Rescue team came at about 8.45am," he told reporters

outside the 3.2-hectare factory.

The losses involved RM100 million worth of machinery and finished products

valued at RM6.02 million that were awaiting export, he said.

The factory employed 600 workers, half of whom were locals, and had been in

operation for the past 15 years, he added.



Eng said they had to fulfill orders from the United States, France, Italy

and several Asian countries.

More than 20 fire engines from Butterworth, Tasik Gelugor, Bukit Mertajam,

Kulim Hitech Park and Sungai Petani rushed to the scene.

Hazardous Material (Hazmat) and Volunteer Fire and Rescue Corps teams were

also on hand at the scene.

Bernama was made to understand that Hazmat teams were called in to handle

hazardous chemicals in the factory to prevent the situation from becoming more


Kedah Fire and Rescue director Ahmad Shahabudin directed over 100 personnel

involved in putting out the fire which was believed to be hampered by low water

pressure in the area.



At the time of filing this report, the fire had been put out but the Hazmat

team was was still working on salvaging the chemicals.

Meanwhile, Padang Serai parliament coordinator, Dr Chin Tung Leung visited

the site this morning and raised concerns over the welfare of the 600 workers

who had lost their source of income.

"Especially the Muslim workers who would be starting Ramadan in another two

weeks and celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri after that," he said.



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