Power surge victim dies

Farm hand Khairul Akmal Ghazali who was struck by a power surge from an overhead electrical cable while working on a harvesting machine on Jan 31 died yesterday at the Alor Star Hospital burns unit. 

The 19-year-old youth's father Ghazali Awang Kechik said his son died at 4.45pm without regaining consciousness. 

Khairul's mother, Saloma Hamid, 43, and five siblings were at his bedside when he died. 

Ghazali, 45, said Khairul was supposed to undergo a surgery to amputate his right leg but the operation could not be done due to his high body temperature.  

Saloma said Khairul’s condition had worsened yesterday.  

“The doctors did their best to save him. I believe in fate and accept Khairul’s death,” she said, adding that she had placed hopes on Khairul, her eldest child, to help support the family. 

She said her son's body would be buried today at the Muslim cemetery near their home in Kampung Perupok, Pendang. 

Khairul, who had been working as a farm worker since June last year, was struck by the power surge at 4.30pm that fateful day. 

Riding on a harvesting machine driven by a fellow worker, Khairul was guarding the padi container to prevent spillage when the machine passed beneath the cable. 

The power surge from the cable burnt his face, right leg and damaged several of his internal organs. 

Khairul was reportedly said to be less than 2m away from the 7m high cable but farmers claimed that cables would sag lower over the years. 

Tenaga Nasional Berhad's Kedah general manager Suhaimi Ismail had said that a power surge could occur without the person touching the cable if the distance between the person and the cable was less than 1m. 

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