SHAH ALAM: The inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim resumed yesterday after a two-week hiatus with forensics expert Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi being recalled to the coroner’s court.
The 24th witness was asked to clarify his findings from the autopsy he conducted on the 24-year-old fireman.
Dr Ahmad Hafizam also explained to the coroner’s court the differences between his report and the theory put forward by the 29th witness – retired pathologist Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid.
Dr Shahrom – who was not present during the autopsy – was called in as an additional expert witness by lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who is representing the Housing and Local Government Ministry, Fire and Rescue Department, as well as the family of the deceased, at the inquest.
Dr Shahrom’s theory was that Muhammad Adib could have been forcefully pulled out of the Fire and Rescue Department’s Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van he was in as several persons were kicking the door of the van at the same time, resulting in his injuries.
Dr Ahmad Hafizam’s report, on the other hand, stated that Muhammad Adib’s injuries were inconsistent with an assault.
Dr Ahmad Hafizam had earlier said Muhammad Adib’s injuries were most likely caused by a combination of him being hit by the door of the EMRS van and then hitting a hard object at the road shoulder as he fell to the ground.
Dr Ahmad Hafizam told the coroner’s court that a miscalculation of the impact force was one of the factors that made Dr Shahrom’s theory flawed.
When asked by inquest conducting officer Faten Hadni Khairuddin to explain further, Dr Ahmad Hafizam said that Dr Shahrom neglected to take into account factors such as the weight of the EMRS van while making his calculation on how much force Muhammad Adib was subjected to when the door of the van hit him.
“Through his calculation, Dr Shahrom said the impact force of the van door was just 800 newtons and not enough to cause rib fractures, as he said an impact of (at least) 3,300 newtons was needed for that,” he said.
Dr Ahmad Hafizam, however, said that based on two calculations he did – that took into account the weight of the EMRS van and the speed of the van at the time of impact – the impact force that hit Muhammad Adib was more than 4,000 newton and “enough to cause rib fractures”.
Another factor that rendered Dr Shahrom’s theory flawed, according to Dr Ahmad Hafizam, was that if Muhammad Adib was assaulted as he was pulled out of the EMRS van, the area of his injuries would be bigger.
He said he deduced this by re-enacting the incident using the sequence of events suggested by Dr Shahrom.
“The results of the experiments done by the team from Kuala Lumpur General Hospital (HKL) and Dr Shahrom (himself) showed a pattern of injuries that was bigger than the one I found on the victim’s body,” he explained.
Dr Ahmad Hafizam said Dr Shahrom’s explanation – that Muhammad Adib fell backward instead of forward – was also flawed, as it did not take into account other injuries on the fireman’s body.
“I don’t agree with Dr Shahrom’s explanation that the scratch on his (Muhammad Adib’s) elbow was due to him falling on his back.
“This is because his knee was also wounded, suggesting that he fell forward. The scratch on his left elbow could also be caused by him falling forward,” he said.
Judge Rofiah Mohamad sat as coroner for the inquest, held at the Shah Alam Sessions Court.
Muhammad Adib was critically injured early in the morning of Nov 27 after he and his team from the Subang Jaya fire station responded to an emergency call at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple where a riot was taking place.
He was taken to SJMC before being transferred to the National Heart Institute (IJN) for further treatment, where he died on Dec 17.
The inquest continues on Tuesday.