BUTTERWORTH (Bernama): A Malaysia Day outing for four 21-year-old friends turned tragic when two of them died while two others are in critical condition due to suspected carbon monoxide poisoning after falling asleep in their car at a parking lot of a petrol station in Sama Gagah here Wednesday (Sept 16) night.
The deceased were identified as Sharifah Fariesha Syed Fathi and Ayuni Shazwanie Shabri, while twins Nor Adilah Mohd Safwan and Nor Aqilah are reported to be in critical condition.
Seberang Perai Tengah OCPD Asst Comm Shafee Abd Samad said they received a report regarding the incident at 1.40 am Thursday (Sept 17).
"Preliminary investigations showed that the four women had gone to Pulau Jerejak, near here, for the Malaysia Day holiday Wednesday, and it was understood that they were on their way home to Sungai Petani and Gurun in Kedah.
"They stopped their car at the petrol station on the northbound North-South Expressway to take a break but are believed to have fallen asleep and fell unconscious due to suspected carbon monoxide poisoning,” he said here Thursday.
He said that according to Ayuni Shazwanie’s mother, her daughter had sent her a text message at 9.15pm, telling her that they had stopped at the petrol station for a rest, but when she failed to return to their Taman Ria Jaya home in Sungai Petani at 11pm, the couple feared the worst.
Shafee said Ayuni Shazwanie’s father then went to the petrol station to look for her and found all four of them unconscious in the car, with the engine still on and the windows fully wound up.
He said Ayuni Shazwanie’s father immediately contacted a hospital before an ambulance arrived at the location at 1am, adding that initial checks found Sharifah Fariesha, who was in the front passenger seat, had died while Ayuni Shazwanie was pronounced dead while receiving treatment at the Seberang Jaya Hospital.
He said the twins, who are from Taman Ria Mesra in Gurun, are reported to be in critical condition in the same hospital.
"The petrol station’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera showed that their vehicle arrived at the parking lot at 8.30 pm, with several of them alightnig to purchase some food before getting back into the car and never coming out again until they were discovered,” he said.
He said the case was being investigated as sudden death and that so far there was no sign of any criminal element involved, although police are still conducting further investigations.
Meanwhile, Sharifah Fariesha’s aunt, Nor Jamilah Ahmad, when met at the hospital mortuary, said her niece was her older sister’s eldest child and that she was very close to Fariesha.
"They (the four of them) are very good friends and just completed their engineering studies at a private college in Batu Caves, Selangor. Fariesha just started work at a private clinic and was very excited about the outing with her three friends,” she said.
Nor Jamilah, who is in her 30s, said she only found out about the incident when Fariesha’s mother called her to say that Fariesha had yet to return home in Amanjaya in Sungai Petani late Wednesday and she then contacted her niece's friends and fiance.
"We were about to go out and look for her when her fiance called me and told me that all four of them had been found and that he was going to the hospital. I was shocked and headed for the hospital too, but before we could reach we were told she had died,” she said.