Parts of Subang Air Traffic Control's ceiling collapse, causing flight delays

A video showed parts of a ceiling falling on top of a worker in a room with computer terminals, with rainwater pouring into the area.VIDEO: ST READER

KUALA LUMPUR - Parts of the ceiling of the air traffic control tower at Subang Airport in Selangor collapsed on Friday (Oct 25), causing delays to flights.

A video showed parts of a ceiling falling on top of a worker in a room with computer terminals, with rainwater pouring into the area.

Malaysia Airports did not say what occurred but posted on its Facebook page on Friday evening: "Dear passengers, we regret to inform that the Air Traffic Control (ATC) at Subang Airport (SZB) is currently experiencing a technical error. This has affected several arriving and departing flights at KUL. We advise passengers to remain calm as our team is working closely with the ATC teams at both SZB and KUL.

"Please check with your airline for the latest flight schedule. Stay with us for the next update."

KUL is another name for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Later, it updated the page to say that operations were back to normal as of 8.35pm on Friday. But complaints in the comments section of the Facebook posting claimed that inbound and outbound flights at KLIA in Sepang and at the second terminal KLIA2 were still delayed.

Some users claimed in their comments that they were seated on their planes for at least two hours, with no movement from the aircraft on the runway.

A government official, who declined to be named, confirmed that sections of the ceiling at Subang ATC had collapsed.

Several flights between Singapore and Malaysia were affected.

A Jetstar Asia spokesman said that KL Air Traffic Control advised airlines flying into KL of delays due to a backlog there.

As a result, two Jetstar services between Singapore to KL were delayed by over two hours. "We are working to get our customers to their destination as soon as we can," the spokesman added.

Seven Scoot flights were also affected, including some flights from Singapore to KL and Penang.

Netizens took to social media to voice their frustration over the delays. Twitter user Beth Hollahan, tweeted she and other passengers "have been sitting in SQ116 for nearly three hours".

"Get us in the air or off the plane. Now!!!!!" she wrote.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) apologised to the twitter user for the delay of flight SQ116 "due to unforeseen circumstances", adding: "We note that the flight has since departed and feel free to approach our crew if you require any assistance on board."

Another twitter user called prohani said: "What is going on with SQ119 tonight? We are waiting at KUL and no one is giving us any information."

SIA replied that its ground staff were working on the matter and would get in touch as soon as they could.

"Please bear with us in the meantime," wrote the airline.

Additional reporting by Jean Iau