Adib still in EMRS van during temple riots, inquest told
Firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim was still in the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) vehicle he was assigned to when chaos erupted at the Seafield Sri Mahamariamman temple grounds last November.
Ahmad Shahril Othman, the third witness in the inquest to determine Adib’s cause of death, said he was behind the wheel of the van at the time of the incident.
“Arwah (Adib) was (sitting) next to me. He was still communicating with me.
“We saw another officer exiting the fire truck to extinguish a fire… We said, ‘Hazim got out so quickly’,” he told the Coroner’s Court in Shah Alam.
Hazim was identified as one of the firefighters deployed from the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Department, who arrived on site at 1.12am to extinguish a burning car across from the temple.
“I saw that before he (Hazim) managed to take out the hose reel, he was attacked.
“After that, I did not see him anymore. I do not know where he went,” said Shahril, adding that the crowd had come from the front and both sides of the fire truck.
Fire truck driver Md Eliza Mohd Noor, the inquest’s second witness, continued his testimony after the lunch break and confirmed that Hazim had exited the fire truck and attempted to take out the hose reel to put out the burning car.
Both vehicles eventually left the scene and headed towards the USJ8 police station.
Upon arrival, Eliza said he was alerted to Shahril informing his supervising officer that Adib was no longer in the EMRS van.
“We then tried to call Adib several times, but nobody picked up.
“After about 15 to 20 minutes, we received a call (on Adib’s phone) and the person told us that Adib is being taken to SJMC (Ramsay Sime Darby Subang Jaya Medical Centre),” said Eliza, adding that their team was immediately instructed to head to the hospital.
Fire truck driver testifies he was ‘fearful’ of mob attack at temple riot
The driver of a fire truck deployed to the riots near the Seafield Sri Mahamariamman temple in Subang Jaya last November told an inquest today that he had reversed the vehicle in a state of panic after being chased away by a mob of civilians.
Md Eliza Mohd Noor, the second witness in the inquest to determine firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s cause of death, said the mob chanted “Bomba pergi balik, jangan padam! (Fire Department go home, don’t put the fire out)” and subsequently hit his front mirror with bricks and helmets.
“They shouted it many times, and made the ‘shooing’ hand signal asking us to leave.
“After the windscreen cracked, I was scared. I immediately reversed the vehicle,” he to questions from the inquest coordinating officer, deputy public prosecutor Hamdan Hamzah.
Eliza told the Shah Alam Coroners Court that he saw a man breaking away from the mob of about 50 people to knock the front mirror of the truck with a white pole, before bricks, helmets, and other unidentified objects were hurled towards it seconds later.
He said his team, comprising a supervising officer and five other personnel deployed from the Subang Jaya fire station to put out a burning car, arrived on site at 1.12am on Nov 27.
They were accompanied by the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van that medical officer Adib was travelling in.
When reversing the fire truck, Eliza said he was aware of the EMRS van’s position at its tail, and two other vehicles, including a Proton Exora taxi.
After backing up about 30m, he said he noticed through one his functioning mirrors a crowd who appeared to be shaking an object, which he assumed was the EMRS van.
“I saw around four or five people (behind the fire truck) who seemed to be shaking something.
“I continued to reverse until I saw that the back of the EMRS on my left side was slightly further ahead than the front of my truck.”
He added that the truck was about 80m away from its initial location, and that they left the scene shortly after reaching a junction.
The inquest’s first witness, Mohd Nasir Rahman, earlier testified that his team was stationed to control traffic at a traffic light opposite the temple.
With a clear view of up to 100m, Nasir estimated that the crowd gathered at the temple grounds numbered between 3,000 and 5,000.
“At the time, together with my officer, I had instructed for the road in front of the temple to be closed, and diverted all traffic from Shah Alam to Puchong into the USJ toll.
“And from the other direction, we directed traffic to do a U-turn into the LDP,” he said.
Nasir also told the inquest that while he saw a crowd attacking the fire truck, his team was outnumbered, and due to safety considerations, he decided that they should remain on traffic control.
9 February 2019
Lawyer: Evidence of doctors, witnesses key to what caused fireman Adib’s death