Monday, June 3, 2013

Man almost killed by mannequin at Sungai Lembing tunnel

The mannequin that almost killed a businessman

What was supposed to be a leisurely family trip to the Sungai Lembing Mines here on Saturday nearly turned into a nightmare for 52-year-old Chai Coon Chok after he was injured when a mannequin suddenly landed on him inside the tunnel complex.

The businessman from Kulai, Johor was resting next to a mannequin, which was replicating a miner performing chores inside the tunnel, when the concrete filled seven-foot-tall dummy suddenly fell towards him in the 3pm incident.

The father of three was fortunate enough to jump aside in time to avoid the mannequin, weighing some 30kg, before it crashed to the ground. However, Chai suffered some cuts and bruises on the left side of his stomach caused by the debrisof the mannequin.

Chai, who was moaning in pain, was taken to the Sungai Lembing health clinic near here before he was later rushed in an ambulance to the Tengku Ampuan Afzan hospital here.

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Chai's wife, Peh Beng Teng, 43, when contacted said the family had returned to Johor on Sunday evening after her husband decided to seek further treatment at a hospital closer to home.

Speaking on the incident, she said they(with two children) had joined some friends and relatives for the trip to Kuantan and was supposed to spend the night at a chalet in Sungai Lembing.

"My husband was resting next to the mannequin when it suddenly tilted towards him. Luckily, he moved away but the rough surface of the concrete mannequin brushed against his stomach which resulted in the injuries.

"We quickly brought him out of the tunnel before the staff who were on duty at the site rushed him to the nearby clinic. I panicked and was worried if he had suffered internal injuries," she said, adding it was an unforgettable trip for them as instead of staying at the chalet, she was forced to spend the night at the hospital with her husband.

Expressing her shock over the incident, Peh, who lodged a report at the Sungai Lembing police station on Sunday evening, claimed that no one from her group was standing near the structure and the concrete mannequin had lacked proper support resulting it to fall.

On Chai's condition, Peh, said her husband was still complaining of pain near his waist and stomach, and she might bring him to a Chinese medicine practitioner to treat the swelling.

Meanwhile, a spokesman from the Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) said the council had received a report on the incident and we are in the midst of completing the procedures for insurance claim.

"Visitors to the mine are entitled for insurance coverage. The management is inspecting the other mannequins to ensure such incidents will not occur in future.

"Initial investigations revealed that someone might have got in contact with the mannequin resulting it to fall. The council has warning signs reminding visitors not to sit close or touch the dummies," he said, describing the incident as an isolated case which has been settled.

The underground tunnels at the former Sungai Lembing mining site, which once boasted the longest and deepest underground tin mine in the world, was opened to public for the first time in January this year.

MPK had spent about RM8 million to refurbish the tunnels and the 12 mannequins "carrying out" various chores, including drilling, blasting and extracting tin ore were part of the attractions at the site.

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