Passers-by slammed for not helping tanker driver

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 26 Feb 2019

MELAKA: The Fire and Rescue Department chief has lambasted passing motorists for not helping an oil tanker driver who was burnt to death in an accident involving three heavy vehicles near Slim River in Perak last Saturday.

The department’s director-general, Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid, regretted that more could have been done by those present at the scene for Mohammad Suhaimi Khamis, 38, who was still alive after the accident based on a viral video posted on social media.

Mohammad Hamdan reproached the public for not doing anything to help the victim who was engulfed in fire and lashed out at those who were instead busy recording the incident with their mobile phones.

“By right, every citizen should be a life saver to anyone caught in a difficult situation.

“Unfortunately, it did not happen that way and to me, it was very disgraceful,” he told reporters after attending the department’s excellence awards ceremony at Hotel Mudzaffar in Ayer Keroh here yesterday.

Present was Melaka Fire and Rescue Department director Mohammad Zin Salleh.

When it was pointed out that the public might have been held back from offering aid for fear of an explosion from the burning oil tanker, Mohammad Hamdan rebuffed the assumption.

“If they dared to record the incident, they should be able to act,” he added.

In the video, Mohammad Suhaimi was seen running frantically towards the middle of the highway with nobody coming to his aid. He finally fell and burnt to death.

His pregnant widow, Khatijah Abdul Karim, 36, subsequently appealed to the public to be sensitive and not to disseminate the video of her husband’s final moment.

During the 9am incident at the 372km of the North-South Expressway, the oil tanker driven by Mohammad Suhaimi hit the back of a lorry that had stopped at the emergency lane of the highway, causing another lorry to hit the rear of a trailer.

According to the police, the trailer driver who was transporting iron had stopped in the emergency lane due to brake problems, and the lorry driver, from the same company and also transporting iron, stopped to help his colleague.

The impact caused the oil tanker and the lorry to burst into flames.

The lorry and trailer drivers escaped unhurt.

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