Witness in inquest tells of chaos at Seafield temple

The scene at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple in USJ 25 on Nov 27.

SHAH ALAM: A witness in the inquest into fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s death told the Coroners Court today that hard objects were hurled at a fire truck which was sent to put out a car fire near the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple in USJ 25 last November.

Subang Jaya Traffic Enforcement head DSP Mohamad Nasir Drahman said this caused the vehicle’s windscreen to shatter.

“The fire rescue tender (FRT) vehicle in front was surrounded by people who hurled stones at it.

“The vehicle then reversed and knocked into an Emergency Medical Rescue Service (EMRS) van before moving forward. It then reversed until it went out of my view,” Nasir, the first witness in the inquest, said in reply to a question from deputy public prosecutor Hamdan Hamzah.

According to Nasir, there were 3,000 to 5,000 people in the temple vicinity at the time.

The inquest is being held before judge Rofiah Mohamad, who is sitting as the coroner.

Adib, 24, was a member of the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Department EMRS. He was seriously injured after what is believed to be an attack by rioters at the temple on Nov 27.

He died of his injuries at the National Heart Institute on Dec 17.

In the inquest proceeding, which began at 10.24am, Nasir said the truck was attacked by a group of men for 10 to 15 seconds.

He said he was 80 to 100 metres from the location of the incident.

He said police witnessed the fire engine being attacked, but not the firefighter as alleged by some quarters.

After the attack, he said, the people headed towards the office of the developer, One City, about 500 metres from the temple.

Md Eliza Mohd Noor, the driver of the FRT vehicle, said a group of men had shouted at the firefighters to stay away from the fire they were supposed to extinguish.

The supervisor on duty then told them to stay inside the truck.

“Five to 10 seconds later, I heard the first object hit the windscreen, followed by a hail of objects such as stones and helmets.

“I could see two or three people running to the left of my vehicle towards the back, but I did not know why.”

The inquest proceeding was then postponed to 2.15pm.