IPOH: Two men carrying out maintenance work in a manhole in front of a mall here were overcome by sewer gas, causing them to suffocate.
Mohamad Nur Syafiq Mohamad Naser, and Mohamad Ilaala Che Aziz, both 27, were pronounced dead by the medical team after their bodies were brought out from the 4m-deep sewerage shaft by the Fire and Rescue Department yesterday.
The duo were employees of a private company contracted to repair the infrastructure.
Ipoh Fire and Rescue Department chief P. Samasuvam said the department received a distress call at 1.34am.
He said both victims were among four workers who were at work that day. After completing their task, Mohamad Nur Syafiq went down the sewer again as a piece of equipment was left behind.
“While he was descending the ladder, he started having breathing difficulties, and fell into the hole.
“His friend Mohamad Ilaala then went inside to save him, but he fell too. Both of them were not wearing any oxygen masks when found.
“We retrieved Mohamad Ilaala’s body at 2.35am, while his friend’s body was retrieved five minutes later,” he added.
At the mortuary, Mohamad Nur Syafiq’s mother, Rosenah Sulaiman, 59, said her divorced son has two daughters.
Rosenah said the deceased was the youngest of three siblings, and he was working part time cleaning sewers to earn extra money for his children, aged four and six, respectively.
“He stays with me in Trong, and works at a furniture shop in Taiping.
“I depended on him the most, and now he is gone,” she added.
Mohamad Ilaala’s wife Siti Mariam Sukri, who has been operating a catering business with her husband, was too distraught to speak.
Mohamad Nur Syafiq was buried at the Trong Muslim cemetery, while Mohamad Ilaala’s body was brought back to his hometown in Tanah Merah, Kelantan.