KUALA LUMPUR: Just two days ago, general worker Azmi was giving thanks for being alive.
A steel chair came hurtling down from the upper floors of the Putra Ria Apartments in Jalan Bangsar, narrowly missing his head.
Azmi was sweeping the futsal court on the ground floor when the chair landed right next to him.
He suspects it might have been flung from the 10th or 12th floor of Block 91. There are four blocks in total there.
This incident took place two days after 15-year-old S. Sathiswaran was killed by a falling office chair at the Seri Pantai PPR.
Many of these high-rise flats are death traps, with tragedies waiting to happen.
The falling chair was nothing new for Azmi, who did not want to give his full name.
A shopping trolley, a bicycle, soiled napkins, condoms and even faeces wrapped in paper bags are among the items thrown from the upper floors.
“Before the chair, a box filled with rubbish containing old bags and clothes landed beside me.
“As I was about to pick it up, I heard a scream from above and suddenly a chair fell to the ground.
“My heart was racing when I realised it had missed my head by mere inches,” Azmi recounted.
Many of these high-rise flats have no trash chutes and are occupied by a lower-income demographic who have little time to descend 16 to 20 floors to throw away their garbage.
Many of them also have little time to watch over their children, who are left to play freely on the ground floor, where they are also exposed to falling projectiles.
The children also play on the corridors of the flats, which have very low grilles.
A child playing on a door grille can accidentally fall over and plunge many floors to his or her death.
At the Putra Ria flats, The Star team spotted a young girl playing a dangerous game outside her home by climbing and hanging with one hand off the grille on the door and window.
Coming back to Azmi’s close call, he said he was furious.
“I went to investigate but the culprits who threw the chair had disappeared.
“A resident told me there was a domestic dispute and the chair could have been thrown in anger,” he said.
Azmi lodged a police report and has kept the chair as evidence.
He also witnessed many residents being hit by items thrown from the upper floors, recalling a particularly nasty incident where a paper bag filled with cat faeces landed on a resident.
He said items such as cupboards, old radios, pots and pans were commonly left along corridors and walkways of the Putra Ria flats.
Meanwhile, cleaning staff at PPR Kampung Muhibbah and Pinggiran Bukit Jalil reported that residents on the upper floors were too lazy to take their rubbish down to the common garbage room.
The workers have had to deal with bulk waste and even rotting organic waste along the corridors.