3 soldiers hurt in ceiling collapse

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'Use of live weapons' causes incident at finale of four-day Defence Services Asia in KL

An army demonstration at Malaysia's Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) on Thursday went awry when a portion of a ceiling collapsed and injured three Malaysian army personnel.

The demonstration, which was the finale of the four-day Defence Services Asia (DSA) exhibition at the PWTC, involved the firing of weapons and setting off of bombs outside the Kuala Lumpur building.

Special forces personnel conducted daily demonstrations during the event to showcase their capabilities and live munitions were always used.

City fire and rescue deputy director Azizan Ismail said the use of live weapons had caused the accident, The Star reported.

"We will work with the PWTC staff to ascertain safety features within the building," he said.

Mr Azizan added that 30 firemen were rushed to the scene, the New Straits Times reported.

A witness said the ceiling collapsed at about 4.45pm, which was 45 minutes after the demonstration when the area was being cleaned up by soldiers.

One of the victims, Sergeant Zahari Jenel, 45, sustained head injuries when the ceiling collapsed on him, NST reported.

"My head still hurts from the incident," the 45-year-old said, adding that he was hospitalised for the night.

Another victim, Corporal Ronnie, 37, had an X-ray and was believed to have a fracture on his right arm.

The third victim, Corporal Malik, 31, had six stitches on his head at the scene.

The DSA, hosted by Malaysia every two years, brings major defence companies together to showcase their products and services, Malay Mail reported.


Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said this year's exhibition is the largest since it was first organised in 1988, with about 1,000 defence firms from 50 countries taking part, the report added.

Meanwhile, Malaysia will push for Asean nations to reassess their military and civil aviation capabilities in light of the MH370 incident, The Star reported.

Mr Hishammuddin said at a press conference after closing the DSA exhibition: "I think it is a great opportunity to look at the Asean's capability not just militarily but also on the civil aviation side for a more constructive, effective and cost-saving way to look at future threats."

We will work with the PWTC staff to ascertain safety features within the building.

- City fire and rescue deputy director Azizan Ismail