GEORGE TOWN: Asman Hamid’s heart broke when he realised the body he helped pull out of the earth at the site of the landslide in Jalan Bukit Kukus, Paya Terubong here yesterday was that of his son, Samsul, 19. “The father, Asman, was with members of the police force and firemen who were searching for his son. “He had taken off his shoes and was digging the earth, and pulled Samsul out,” said the victim’s aunt, Ramziah, when met at the compounds of the Forensic Department in Penang Hospital here today. She said when Asman, 62, realised it was his son he had pulled out, he hugged the body tight. “They (Asman and his wife) accompanied Samsul’s body in the police truck to the hospital,” she said. Ramsiah said the family had decided to take Samsul’s body back to Indonesia once the post-mortem process was completed. He will be flown from Penang to Jakarta, before going on to Makasar, Kendari, and from there, taken by land route to Buton. Yesterday, Asman and his wife arrived at the Penang Hospital Forensic Department at 6.20 pm. Asman looked dishevelled, shoeless, his body covered in mud, as he had been part of the search for Samsul, his third child. He said he received a call from one of Samsul’s friends who asked him to go to the site of the landslide. “His friend called me, asking me to go there. I knew about the incident after the Friday prayers, and when I arrived home, my wife was crying,” he said, adding that he went to the location in a taxi taken from their home in Sungai Nibong.
Firemen taking out a body which was pulled from the landslide. picture by Ramdzan Masiam
Asman said he was a permanent resident here while his son Samsul had just arrived and been working in Malaysia for two months. “Samsul and his siblings lived with their grandmother in Buton Tengah, Sulawesi. Only he came to Malaysia, while the rest remained in the village,” he said. The landslide which was reported to have occurred at 1.56 pm yesterday has so far claimed the lives of four foreign workers, while three others were injured and another three feared to be still trapped under the earth. The incident occurred after heavy rains hit the state from Thursday afternoon to noon yesterday, causing the landslide in the container and kongsi area of the Bukit Kukus paired road construction site. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd