SUBANG JAYA: Firemen responding to an emergency at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple had to withdraw from the area after the situation turned chaotic there early Tuesday (Nov 27).
Fire and Rescue Department Director General Datuk Mohamad Hamdan Wahid (pic) said firemen from Subang Jaya fire station were responding to a call about a burning vehicle where protests were ongoing over the relocation of the temple.
"We sent a fire engine and an emergency medical response service (EMRS) vehicle, which is similar to an ambulance," he said after visiting injured fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim at the Ramsay Sime Darby Medical Centre.
Muhammad Adib, 24, sustained critical injuries after he was forcefully pulled out from the EMRS vehicle.
Hamdan said the EMRS vehicle was tailing the fire engine at the scene where a total of nine firemen had been deployed.
"When the vehicles arrived, rioters began attacking and throwing stones at the fire engine and it had to reverse.
"The EMRS vehicle tried to do the same but had difficulty breaking away from the mob to return to the Subang Jaya fire station," he said.
He said rioters badly damaged both vehicles by breaking the windshield and mirrors of the fire engine as well as denting its sides.
They door handles of EMRS were also damaged and its windshield cracked.
It is believed that Muhammad Adib was dragged out of the vehicle.
Mohamad Hamdan said firemen only realised Muhammad Adib's absence when they arrived at the station.
"It was very chaotic. In such situations, it is better to withdraw because you cannot do your work properly," he said.
A call was placed to Muhammad Adib's mobile phone, but it was answered by a civilian who said that he had been taken to hospital by someone else.
The department has also lodged a police report about over the incident.
Datuk Hamdan said the team were traumatised by the experience but it had not affected their commitment to carry out their responsibilities.
"We will do whatever we can to save people's lives – regardless of their background – even if it means gambling with our own lives," he said.