Pasukan itu berharap dapat menemui mayat mangsa, selepas bahagian-bahagian kereta, yang disahkan sebagai kereta Honda City milik Chin Aik - nombor casis, tayar, enjin dan bumper - ditemui di dalam lubang tersebut yang dipenuhi lumpur dan air dari paip kumbahan bawah tanah yang pecah.
Anggota bomba dan penyelamat, petugas Perbadanan Air Pulau Pinang (PBA) dan Indah Water Konsortium turut dipanggil untuk membantu membersihkan sisa dan menggali mayat lelaki berusia 44 tahun itu.
Dua kren digunakan untuk menggali lebih dalam dan pada masa yang sama, - air kumbahan terus membanjiri lubang lima meter, dan melambat kerja-kerja tersebut.
Sejak pukul 6 petang semalam, keluarga Chin Aik - isterinya, Lee Chai Song, dan ibu bapanya - menunggu di tempat tersebut dengan harapan mayat mangsa akan ditemui.
Pada jam 10.30 malam, Ketua Menteri Lim Guan Eng datang ke situ dan bertemu dengan keluarga Chin Aik untuk memujuk mereka supaya pulang dahulu dan menyerahkan tugas mencari mayat Chin Aik kepada anggota pasukan penyelamat.
Lim berkata keluarga tersebut bimbang sekiranya mereka meninggalkan kawasan itu, kerja-kerja mengesan mayat Chin Aik akan dihentikan dan mayatnya tidak ditemui.
"Kita semua keletihan selepas sehari suntuk. Kami rasa mungkin Chin Aik tidak tertimbus dalam lubang tersebut, tetapi kita
memberi mereka jaminan bahawa kita akan terus mencari mayatnya," kata Lim kepada pemberita selepas bercakap dengan saudara mara Chin Aik.
"Saya menasihatkan mereka supaya pulang ke rumah dan berehat. Saya telah mengarahkan pasukan penyelamat supaya meneruskan kerja untuk menggali sebahagian daripada struktur (dari penebat kilat) yang jatuh ke dalam lubang tersebut," katanya.-malaysiakini
Penang storm - search for missing man continues...
Up to 3am this morning, the Special Team Operation and Response Mechanism (Storm) has failed to unearth the body of Lim Chin Aik, who is believed to be trapped under a five-meter crater caused by the impact of a lightning arrestor which was torn from the Penang Umno headquarters along Jalan Macalister on Thursday.
The team was hopeful after parts of a car, confirmed to be Chin Aik's Honda City when the chassis number, tyres, engine and bumper were discovered within the rubble inside the crater, which is filled with mud, sludge and sewage water from a burst underground pipe.
Penang Fire and Rescue, Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBA) and Indah Water Konsortium personnel have been called in to help clear the debris and dig out the body of the 44-year-old man.
However, as the night progressed - and the two cranes operators dug deeper - sewage water continued to flood the five-meter hole, making work harder and slower.
By 2am, state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh said it was unlikely that Chin Aik's body would be found before later this morning.
At around 4am, sheet pilling work had to be done as the ground surrounding the crater was loosening due to heavy digging, which may affect surrounding areas like the Penang State Muzium and Gallery and the iconic Masjid Pakistan.
Family rushes to the site
Since 6pm yesterday, Chin Aik's family - his wife, Lee Chai Song, and his parents - waited anxiously at the site for any sign of his body under the debris but they were to be disappointed.
By 10.30pm, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who visited the site, met the family to persuade them to call it a day and to leave the task of finding Chin Aik's body to the Storm team.
Lim said the family was concerned that if they were to leave the area, search efforts would cease and the remains of the economy rice seller in Pulau Tikus would not be found.
"We are all tired after a long day. We think it is unlikely that he is buried under the crater but we gave them the assurance that we will continue to look for his body," Lim told reporters after speaking to Chin Aik's relatives.
"I advice them to go home and rest. I have given orders for the team to continue their search, to unearth part of the structure (from the lightning arrestor) that has crashed into the crater," he added.
"We are now focusing on the search and to dig out the vehicle. This would delay, perhaps a day or two, our efforts to clear the road and restore the situation to normal," he stressed, sporting a white shirt soaked with sweat.
"We understand that they too need a closure - that is important - so we will not stop looking until (remaining parts of) the vehicle or body is found."
Other than the rescue and cleaning teams, a large group of journalists, photographers and many curious onlookers, have gathered in the area despite it being cordoned off by the police.
'He did not return home'
Earlier, Chin Aik's wife Lee told reporters that on Thursday, when Penang was engulfed by the massive gale, her husband had left their home at about 7pm to pick up his youngest, 13-year-old daughter from the Penang Chinese Girl School, along Jalan Gottlieb.
"He did not bring his handphone because it was a short distance from Weld Quay where we lived.
"We waited until 8pm but they never returned and I started to worry," the 48-year-old said.
"By 9.30pm, my daughter's school called and said my daughter was still there and offered to send her home.
"When Chin Aik failed to return the next day, we lodged a missing person report at the police station at about 3pm," she added.
At 6pm yesterday, Lee was told by the authorities that they have discovered her husband's car, and the family rushed to the scene.
They arrived in tears, although Lee, who has three children, remained relatively calm, saying, "I hope it is not my husband."
"I am hoping and I am praying," said Lee, who then burst into tears. She was holding on to the possibility that her husband could be somewhere else when the accident happened.
The strong winds, which swept several parts of Penang, pulled down the lightning pole at Menara Umno, killing Indian national Jahir Hussain Sulaiman, 46, injured six, and damaged eight vehicles.
Another man - PBA staff Wong Tze Chow, 33 - died after he was struck by a fallen tree along Jalan Air Itam while he was on his motorcycle.
Electricity and water supply in several residential areas and businesses have been affected by the incident, which happened a week after another tragedy - the collapse of the ramp of the Penang second bridge along Batu Maung on June 6.
Hundreds of rooftops were blown off during the violent storm, and the Penang government has pledged to provide financial aid to the victims.-malaysiakini