The rescue work was hindered by pools of water around the construction site.
At least 20 people are feared to be trapped after a landslide struck a construction site in Tanjung Bungah in the Malaysian state of Penang on Saturday morning. "It has not been raining for days on the island", she told reporters.
The state set up a commission and conducted formal public inquiries into the collapse of a section of the ramp leading to the Second Penang Bridge and the failure of a structure at Menara Umno along Macalister Road in 2013.
He said the victims were believed to be migrant workers.
Between 15 and 20 people were buried by the landslide, the fire department said, and rescue operations are underway.
The Penang government will hold a full state inquiry into the causes of the accident which led to a massive landslide at a building area in Tanjung Bungah, which claimed three lives.
The Fire and Rescue Department found three bodies by 1pm.
"We have also sent some heavy duty equipment on board the aircraft to help expedite the search efforts", he said.
The affordable housing project comprising two 49-storey towers containing a total of 980 units, was being developed by a private company and was slated to be completed by June 2020.