SHAH ALAM: The injuries on fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim could have come about while he was wedged between the door and his seat inside the Fire and Rescue Department van, says a forensics expert.
Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid, who is a former forensic pathologist at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, said it was also likely that the 24-year-old fireman was pulled by force out of the Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van during the early morning of Nov 27 last year.
The 29th witness to the inquest into the death of Muhammad Adib said he made his conclusion based on evidence provided to him, including photographs from the clinical forensic examination on the fireman.
Dr Shahrom said he also staged a reconstruction of the incident with the Fire and Rescue Department.
Under questioning by lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who is representing the Housing and Local Government Ministry, Fire and Rescue Department, and Muhammad Adib’s family at the inquest, Dr Shahrom said it was unlikely that Muhammad Adib went out of the van on his own.
This was because Muhammad Adib’s uniform was missing buttons number one, two and four, which supported the theory that the fireman was forcefully pulled out from the EMRS van, he added.
“There were also abrasions at the back of his waist – that (the wound) would not have been there if one were to come down on his own from the van,” he said.
He said that based on the evidence presented to him, Muhammad Adib’s injuries were not self-inflicted but was caused by persons other than the fireman.
“The victim died due to critical injuries on his left and right lungs, which were caused by blunt force trauma.
“The blunt force trauma was not self-inflicted but was done by two or more persons,” he told the coroner’s court.
He said that the possible sequence of events was that Muhammad Adib was pulled out of the van – and while he was in between the van and its door – someone forcefully kicked the door, and as the fireman was pulled further outwards, the door was kicked again.
He said that he made the conclusion based on the injuries on Muhammad Adib, which were abrasions on his right chest and at the back of his waist, his fractured ribs and swollen right lung.
“The injuries suggest that the victim was pulled out from where he was sitting (front passenger side).
“After his head was out, the edge of the door was forcefully kicked (from the outside) – the force of the impact fell on the right shoulder and chest – which caused the scrape wound and fractured ribs on the right side of his chest,” he said.
He added that the door was then kicked again causing bruises on the fireman’s upper right arm.
He said that the incident occurred within a short time span of between five and eight seconds, as the EMRS van was moving backwards due to it being pushed by the Fire and Rescue Department’s fire truck which was reversing.
Dr Shahrom was roped in by Syazlin to assist with the investigation into the fireman’s death.
His theory of what caused Muhammad Adib’s injuries differ from that of the inquest’s 24th witness, forensics expert Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi.
On March 22, Dr Ahmad Hafizam, who conducted the autopsy on Muhammad Adib, told the coroner’s court that the fireman’s injuries could have been caused by him being hit by the door of the EMRS van and then falling onto a hard object on the road shoulder.
Judge Rofiah Mohamad sits as coroner for the inquest, which was on its 23rd day yesterday and held at the Shah Alam Sessions Court.
Muhammad Adib became critically injured in the early morning of Nov 27 after he and his team members from the Subang Jaya fire station responded to an emergency call at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple where a riot was taking place.
The fireman was taken to SJMC after he was found injured, before being transferred to the National Heart Institute for further treatment, where he died on Dec 17.