‘How it happened’ dispute continues

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 18 May 2019

SHAH ALAM: The inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim continues with the ongoing dispute on the formula used to calculate the force of impact of the door of the Fire and Rescue Department’s Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) van that hit him.

Forensics expert Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi maintained his stand that the impact from the door of the EMRS van that hit Muhammad Adib was enough to fracture his ribs during the incident in which he sustained the injuries in the early morning of Nov 27 last year.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam was refuting retired pathologist Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid’s theory that the impact from the door was not enough to cause injuries to the fireman.

Dr Shahrom, the 29th witness, had told the coroner’s court during his appearance that based on his calculation, the impact force that hit Muhammad Adib was just 800N (newton units).

This, he said, was not enough to cause rib fractures on the fireman – as he theorised that there must be an impact force of at least 3,300N to be able to cause bone fractures.

The dispute started when Dr Ahmad Hafizam said that the formula used by Dr Shahrom did not take into account the weight of the EMRS van.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam asserted that the weight of the EMRS van needed to be inserted into the calculation.

“There is force of impact from the van and this was transferred to the victim (Muhammad Adib).

“We cannot just take the (impact of the) victim’s fall into calculation, as the victim did not fall on his own.

“He fell due to the impact on his back,” said Dr Ahmad Hafizam.

He then told the coroner’s court that he only did the calculation based on Dr Shahrom’s suggestion in court, as he himself had not come across any academic literature in the forensics field that would suggest how many newton units were needed to break a person’s bones.

“I couldn’t find anywhere how much force is needed to cause bone fractures.

“The (base) figure I used (3,300N) was the one that Dr Shahrom suggested,” said Dr Ahmad Hafizam, adding that based on two calculations that he did, the impact force that hit Muhammad Adib was more than 3,500N.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam, who is the 24th witness to the inquest, has made nine appearances in the coroner’s court.

Due to the dispute about the formula used to calculate the impact force that hit Muhammad Adib, 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 – asked for a mechanical engineer to be brought into the inquest.

Inquest conducting officer Faten Hadni Khairuddin did not object to the request and suggested for an independent mechanical engineer to be consulted.

Sessions Court judge Rofiah Mohamad, who sits as coroner for the inquest, allowed a mechanical engineer to be consulted.

Dr Shahrom was called in as an additional expert witness.

The theories of Dr Ahmad Hafizam, who conducted the autopsy on Muhammad Adib, and Dr Shahrom on how Muhammad Adib sustained his fatal injuries differed – which was the reason the force of impact from the door of the EMRS van came into discussion.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam’s report stated that Muhammad Adib’s injuries were inconsistent with an assault.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam also said during the inquest proceedings that based on clinical forensic examination on Muhammad Adib, the autopsy done on him and the lack of eyewitness who saw the circumstances of how he exited the EMRS van, the fireman exited the van on his own volition.

Dr Shahrom’s theory, on the other hand, was that Muhammad Adib could have been forcefully pulled out from the EMRS van as several persons were kicking the door at the same time, resulting in his injuries.

Rofiah said she will reserve her decision on the need to call in a third independent pathologist to assist in the inquest.

Muhammad Adib, 24, became critically injured on 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 the SJMC before being transferred to the National Heart Institute (IJN) for further treatment, where he later died on Dec 17.

The inquest, which is being held at the Shah Alam Sessions Court, continues on May 27.

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