New Straits Times

‘I didn’t realise it would be our last goodbye’


KUALA LUMPUR: “When I said goodbye to my husband before he left for work on Saturday night, I did not realise that it would be our last goodbye.”

Those were the words of the wife of Mohd Firdaus Abdul Mutalib, 41, the constructi­on worker killed when a launching gantry collapsed at a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) constructi­on site in Jinjang here on Saturday night.

The woman, who declined to be named, described her husband as a committed person who was an 18-year veteran of the constructi­on industry, where he operated cranes and launching gantries.

She said she was informed of his death by his colleagues about 3am yesterday.

“They asked me to identify his body. I do not know what happened (that got him killed),” she said outside Kuala Lumpur Hospital’s National Institute of Forensic Medicine.

It is understood that Firdaus leaves behind his wife and four children, aged between 6 months and 10 years.

One of the victim’s colleagues said a bad feeling and quick thinking saved him and several others from injury, or death, when the incident occurred.

A crane operator, who declined to be named, said he and two colleagues were taking a break when Firdaus was moving the gantry.

“We were in a pondok nearby when we heard a loud sound, as if a steel bar was being hit. I had a bad feeling, as did a colleague. He told us to get out of the pondok and run. A few minutes later, we saw the gantry slide... it happened so fast. Then a piece of the launching gantry crashed down onto the pondok that we were in just a few minutes before.”

The man said he was grateful to had escaped unscathed, but was devastated about Firdaus’s death.

Sentul deputy police chief Superinten­dent Mohamed Rafiq Mohamed Mustafa said 28 workers, including eight foreigners, were at the site at the time.

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