Couple found in last embrace beneath the rubble in Gombak building collapse

Fire and Rescue department staff pulling out two bodies from under the rubble.

GOMBAK: After hours of digging under a collapsed building next to the Gombak LRT terminal in Jalan Melati here, rescuers managed to locate two missing Indonesian workers amid the rubble.

“They were found dead hugging each other in their last moments of life,” said Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department director Nordin Pauzi.

He said the bodies of the husband and wife were found after a second search and rescue attempt at 9.30am. The bodies were pulled out about 2.30pm.

“One of the workers informed us that they couldn’t find their two friends. We then started searching for more people under the rubble of the eight-storey building,” he told reporters at the scene.

Nordin said part of the building collapsed, probably due to a structural weakness at the parking ramp going up to the higher floors.

Heru Susiawan.

Gombak police chief Samsor Maarof said police have started their probe into the collapse.

“We have sealed off the place and will speak to the contractors involved to prevent people sleeping there,” added Samsor.

One of the couple’s friends, Heru Susiawan, who informed police that the couple were missing, said he had coffee with them just last night.

“I saw the husband and wife entering the building at night. When I saw the building had collapsed, I tried calling their handphones but they did not reply.”

He said he knew the man as Alias, 37, and his wife as Ema, 40.

Some of the workers watching the rescue effort.

Meanwhile, migrant workers at the site said it was unfortunate that such an incident had taken place. They said some of the workers chose to sleep in their uncompleted building.

Fire and Rescue Department commander M Murugiah said his staff received an emergency call at 1.13am, following which 46 personnel from the Wangsa Maju and South Gombak fire and rescue stations were dispatched to the scene.

According to the department, two workers were rescued and sent to the hospital first.

A third worker, whose hand was caught in the debris, was eventually rescued at 7.30am.

The rescue team was forced to cut part of the worker’s hand in order to extract him from the rubble.

He was then sent to Hospital Kuala Lumpur for treatment.