Families of victims reel in shock
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.