Fam­i­lies of vic­tims reel in shock

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

JO­HOR BARU: Fam­i­lies of pa­tients killed in the blaze at the south wing build­ing of Sul­tanah Ami­nah Hospi­tal here yes­ter­day were reel­ing in shock and won­der­ing whether the au­thor­i­ties had put in place ad­e­quate fire safety mea­sures.

The hospi­tal, the big­gest in Jo­hor, is the main re­fer­ral and ter­tiary health cen­tre for the state.

One of the six vic­tims was M. Kaliama, 23, who died on her birth­day.

Her fa­ther, K. Mu­niandy, 49, said his daugh­ter was ad­mit­ted to the ICU five days ago due to fits.

“We wanted to cel­e­brate her birth­day at the ward if she was not dis­charged. But it turned out that she died in the in­ci­dent.”

Neer­maladevi Chan­dran, 24, a fac­tory op­er­a­tor in Sin­ga­pore was ad­mit­ted at the hospi­tal’s In­ten­sive Care Unit (ICU) on Mon­day af­ter com­plain­ing of chest dis­com­fort.

Her col­league, M. Aru­mugam, 20, said she was a cheer­ful per­son.

“We wanted to visit her at the ICU to­day. But sadly, she died.”

He said the loss is un­bear­able and all their prepa­ra­tions for Deep­avali have been dashed.

An­other vic­tim, Poh Ah Wah, 60, a dial­y­sis pa­tient from here, was also warded at the ICU on Mon­day.

Her son, who gave his name only as Ang, 31, said when he came to the hospi­tal, he saw thick black smoke bil­low­ing from the build­ing. “I was hop­ing against hope that my mum would be safe. But I was told that my mother was among the six who died.”

N. Nageswari, 49, said her son, K. Lo­geswaran, 20, was ad­mit­ted five days ago fol­low­ing a road ac­ci­dent.

“Lo­ges had just started work in Sin­ga­pore. Since he was ad­mit­ted, I have been look­ing af­ter him ev­ery day.”

On ar­rival at the hospi­tal, she saw a huge crowd and fire en­gines.

“I was told there was a fire at the ICU. I felt very un­easy as my son was there. Not long af­ter­wards, a hospi­tal staff told me Lo­geswaran had died in the fire.”

Mean­while, Yu­sof Has­san, 70, who also died in the fire, had been ad­mit­ted for old-age ail­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to his son-in-law, Syafiq Abd Rahim, Yu­sof was trans­ferred from the Batu Pa­hat Hospi­tal on Fri­day. “It’s so tragic,” he added. Rel­a­tives of the de­ceased voiced their con­cern on whether the hospi­tal had up­graded its fire safety mea­sures.

They hoped the Health Min­istry will do the need­ful to avert a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent. – by Low Sock Ken

Lo­geswaran’s mother be­ing con­soled by fam­ily and friends at the hospi­tal mor­tu­ary yes­ter­day.

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