Fireman undertakes gruesome task of retrieving aborted baby's remains from sewage tank


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 24 Jun 2020

MELAKA: A fireman with 40 years of service behind him showed he was still willing to undertake the most gruesome of tasks when he volunteered to descend into a sewage tank to retrieve the remains of an aborted baby.

Ramli Abu Bakar, 60, who is the Padang Temu Fire and Rescue Department chief fireman, said he had to go into the tank at Kampung Kandang here as the baby's remains could not be seen from ground level.

"The tank was filled with toxic gas and had a horrible stench.

"I wanted to lead by example and show younger members of my team that dirty and dangerous tasks are part of a firefighter's job," he said here on Wednesday (June 24).

Ramli said he had to descend into a septic tank before many years ago when he was a young fireman in Kuala Lumpur.

On Tuesday (June 23), he led a group of mostly young firefighters aged from 21 to 23, who were conducting an operation at a sewage tank for the first time.

"They were disgusted due to the pungent smell from the tank, which is full of human waste,” he said adding that he shared his previous sewage tank experience with them for motivation.

Ramli said as he was preparing to go into the tank, one of his men caught a glimpse of the remains stuck at the hose they were using to pump out the tank contents.

"The remains were covered in sludge and we informed police officers," he said, adding that firefighters were saddened when they saw the baby's remains.

“Our hearts sank to see a baby's remains in such condition," he said.

Ramli and his team were given the gruesome task after police detained a 23-year-old woman and her 25-year-old boyfriend for attempting to conceal a birth by disposing of an aborted baby.

The couple was arrested on Tuesday (June 23).

Melaka CID chief Asst Comm Mohd Nor Yhazid said police had obtained a four-day remand for the male suspect on Wednesday (June 24).

He said the woman, who is now undergoing a medical screening, was granted police bail.

ACP Mohd Nor said preliminary investigation showed that the woman had aborted her pregnancy using pills ordered online.

He said that the woman was in her fifth to seventh month of pregnancy when she decided to have an abortion.

He added that the woman's boyfriend admitted to disposing of the body in a sewage pipe at his home in Kampung Kandang. The case is being investigated under Section 318 of the Penal Code for concealment of a birth by the secret disposal of a dead body.

Meanwhile, Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid commended his men for carrying out the task diligently.

He said his department is always ready to assist any government departments and agencies on such missions even it involves operating at sewage tanks.

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