Saturday, June 15

Tragic land, air, water disasters that shook the nation in 2023

The devastating air crash on Aug 17 near Elmina, Shah Alam, Selangor, involving a Beechcraft Model 390 (Premier 1) plane, which resulted in the loss of 10 lives, including two road users, stands as one of the most heart-wrenching tragedies for Malaysians this year.

The tragic incident at 2.50 pm on Thursday claimed the lives of Pahang local government, housing, environment and green technology committee chairman Datuk Seri Johari Harun, 53, and pilot Shahrul Kamal Roslan, 41, who was assisted by Heikal Aras Abdul Azim, 45.

Five other passengers, namely Muhammad Taufik Mohd Zaki, 37, Khairil Azwan Jamaludin, 43, Shaharul Amir Omar, 49, Mohammad Naim Fawwas Mohamed Muaidi, 35, and Idris Abdul Talib @ Ramali, 41, were also killed in the unfortunate plane crash.

The incident also took the lives of two civilians, e-hailing driver Sharipudin Shaari, 51, and p-hailing rider Muhammad Hafiz Muhammad Salleh, 32, who were passing by the area.

The ill-fated aircraft, with a registration number of N28JV and operated by Jetvalet Sdn Bhd, departed from Langkawi International Airport at 2.08 pm and was heading to Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang when it crashed onto the expressway near Bandar Elmina.

The Aircraft Accident Preliminary Report issued by the Ministry of Transport Air Accident Investigation Bureau on Sept 15 ruled that there was no evidence of incapacitation or physiological factors that affected the pilot’s performance as the cause of the fatal plane crash.

This incident, the fifth involving a Beechcraft aircraft in Malaysia in 46 years and the second in Elmina, recalls the tragic Japan Air Lines Flight 715 incident on Sept 27, 1977, which led to the loss of 34 lives.

Meanwhile, the water surge tragedy in Kampung Air Puteh, Kemaman, Terengganu, on July 1, which claimed the lives of 10 individuals, including a family of nine from Felda Lepar Hilir 3, Pahang, has also left a deep sense of sorrow among the people across the country.

It was previously reported that the victims had gone on a picnic in the area, which is located near Bukit Banui Forest Reserve.

The victims were identified as Karim Abdullah, 39, and his wife, Azizah Eiyi, 40, and their children Muhammad Zulqarnain Haikal Karim, 11; Putri Nurerina Natasya Karim, 10; Muhammad Haziq Ziqree Karim, 6; Putri Aryana Umaira Karim, 4; Putri Nur Fatin Karim, 14; Putri Alleya Maisarah Karim, 16; and Putri Balqis Izzati Abdul Rahman, 18; as well as her fiance Muhammad Fikri Saliman, 24.

The other is Putri Balqis Izzati’s fiance, Muhammad Fikri Saliman, 24, from Batu Pahat, Johor, who had joined the family during the picnic outing.

The search and rescue operation of the 10 victims enlisted the efforts of 279 personnel from various agencies, including the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) and the police, with nine bodies recovered, but Putri Nur Fatin’s body remains unaccounted for.

Kemaman district police chief Supt Hanyan Ramlan announced that the operation to find the last victim was called off on July 5 as no new leads were found.

The remains of eight of the nine family members who perished in the tragedy were buried in a common grave at the Felda Lebar Hilir 3 Muslim Cemetery, Kuantan, Pahang, on July 5, while Muhammad Fikri Saliman was laid to rest at the Muslim Cemetery in Kampung Parit Kuda, Semerah, Batu Pahat , Johor, on July 8.

Meanwhile, road accidents continue to be one of the leading causes of death in Malaysia, with one of the most tragic incidents being on Kilometre 4.8 of Jalan Genting Highlands near Bentong, Pahang, on Feb 8, which took seven lives and injured seven others.

Wong Choun Chiet, 49; Foong Ah Lan, 67; Lee Moy, 67; Goh Siew Kim, 61; Ang Meng Hing, 62; Seow Mee Tin, 72; and Chang Them Kong, 70, met a tragic end as the tourist van they were aboard, travelling from Genting Highlands to Penang, skidded and crashed into a road divider.

Another tragic accident transpired on Jalan Segamat-Kuantan near Taman Yayasan, Segamat, Johor, on Sept 1, claiming the lives of six members of a family and causing one to suffer a serious injury when the Perodua Alza they were travelling in collided with a sand-laden lorry.

The incident is believed to have occurred when a Honda HRV slowed down due to road repair work before the lorry travelling in the same direction failed to stop on time and skidded.

As a result of the collision, the lorry veered towards the opposite lane and collided with the ill-fated Perodua Alza carrying the family of seven.

The road crash had claimed the lives of Amir Ruddin Ismail, 46, his wife Norahimah Noor Muhamad, 43, and their four children Fatimatulzahrah, 17, Seri Khadijah Aqilah, 13, Rufaidatul Asyariyah, 10, and Muhammad Assyakrawi, 5, while their other son Abdullah, 15, was seriously injured.

The accident left Abdur Rahman Amir Ruddin, the couple’s eldest son, and his younger brother, Abdullah, orphaned in an instant.

Malaysians were also left in dismay by the collapse of a logistics warehouse under construction in Batu Maung, Penang, on Nov 28, which killed three Bangladeshi construction workers and seriously injured two others.

Earlier reports indicated that nine construction workers were feared trapped under the rubble; however, CCTV footage showed that four of them had fled the scene when the incident occurred.

Three workers – Md Ahed Ali, 42, Mohamad Mokaddes Ali, 46, and Mohammad Sayful Islam, 29 – were killed in the tragedy, while two others – Md Uzzal Mridha, 30, and Md Razu Ahamad, 33 – were badly injured. – Bernama

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