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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Varsity student dies after hiking fall

Fatal fall: Solihah being taken by the Fire and Rescue Department to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital via helicopter for treatment.

Fatal fall: Solihah being taken by the Fire and Rescue Department to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital via helicopter for treatment.

KUALA LUMPUR: The death of a university student who fell 60m at the popular Bukit Tabur hiking trail makes her the second fatality in two months.

Solihah Ab Rahman, 25, is believed to have started her hike at around 8am yesterday with seven friends.

Tragedy struck after Solihah passed Checkpoint 10, which is about 470m above sea level. She was supposed to leap across two large boulders but lost her footing and fell.

Fire and Rescue Department operations commander Amer Haizal Sahek said his department received a distress call from one of the hikers at 10.38am.

Solihah Ab Rahman

“We arrived at 10.50am at the foot of the hill near an apartment in Bukit Mas and set up our command centre there.

“Twenty minutes later, five firemen began the trek up the hill to where the victim was found unconscious at around 12.45pm,” he told pressmen at the scene yesterday.

He said the woman was hoisted up about an hour later.

“Due to her condition and the steep hike down the hill, we decided to call for a helicopter to airlift her out.”

He said the fire department helicopter, which was dispatched from the Subang Airport, arrived at around 3.30pm.

Solihah was then winched out and flown to Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

However, she was unresponsive to resuscitation. She was later pronounced dead at around 4.30pm.

Solihah, the third of five siblings, had worked part-time at a bank while studying for her Masters degree in economics.

Her eldest sister went to the hospital after receiving a call from Solihah’s friends, informing her of the accident.

“Solihah loved outdoor activities but I did not expect her to go climb a hill,” said the sister, who declined to be named.

She said Solihah’s parents, who live in Manir, Terengganu, would be here to claim the body today after the post-mortem was performed.

This is the third case within a month.

On Jan 5, Noor Hasmahani Hashim hurt her back after falling down a 10m slope near Checkpoint 11 and landing on tree branches.

Private school science teacher Ng Pee Tat, 32, died from injuries after he fell several metres down a steep slope at the hill on Dec 3, 2013.

Previous fatalities at Bukit Tabur involved two medical specialists, who were both experienced trekkers.

Bukit Tabur is a hill located in Taman Melawati and is part of Klang Gates Quartz Ridge.

The hill, which is less than 500m above sea level, is popular among hikers as it is located close to the city and the peak offers panaromic views of Kuala Lumpur from the north as well as the dam.

Bukit Tabur is divided into the eastern and western section by the dam. Most hikers are familiar with the western section.

The eastern side offers more challenging hikes but is said to be steeper and riskier for those unfamiliar with the trail.

Fakhrul Nizam Tahar, 25, a school mate of the victim since primary school, said the group had been hiking for two hours and was on the way up between Checkpoints 10 and 11.

“She fell while she was trying to reposition her body to face the wall while on a ledge.

“She was trying to reach out to grab the rock face, but slipped before she could reach it,” he said.

Fakhrul added that it was the victim’s maiden trip to Tabur, while it was the second time for him.

Another friend described the stretch between the two checkpoints as challenging, where a person is sure to fall down if he or she slips while negotiating the area.

Tags / Keywords: Courts Crime , bukit tabur , fatality , hiker , fire and rescue department , airlift


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