Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Penang freak storm: Family grieves as search gets called off

The family of the man believed buried some 7m underground in the Macalister Road tragedy broke down when the search for Lim Chin Aik's body had to be called off.

Sobbing uncontrollably, Lim's wife Lee Chai Song, 48, scooped mud from the last piece of his wrecked car part that had been dug out of the crater where Lim was believed to have been buried.

“We cannot find your body. We will treat this wet soil as your remains and bring you home,” she cried in Hokkien.

Lim, 44, is feared buried after debris from a lightning arrestor snapped and fell off the 21-storey Menara Umno and hit his car following a freak storm on Thursday.

Lim's mother Ang Kim Looi, 70, also wept when she was told that the operation had been called off.

“Wa chin chia sayang lu, lu chai bor? (I love you very much, do you know that?),” the grief-stricken mother said in Hokkien.

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Family members tried to console her with hugs while several others also shed tears as they had been waiting anxiously at the scene since Saturday.

An excavator carrying out clearing work at the damaged road unearthed car parts believed to be those of a Honda City.

The chassis number found on the wreckage matched Lim's car.

Family members consented to the ending of the operation after being told that the building structures nearby might be at risk if digging continued.

The storm claimed two other lives lorry driver Jahir Hussain Sulaiman, 46, and Wong Tze Chow, 33.

Lim's cousin Roy Tan, meanwhile, said the family had started conducting prayers for the missing man.

“We will be conducting more prayers for the next three days. We will call back his soul.”

The family, he said, could not comment much until the results of an inquest by the police was completed.

“What's most important now is obtaining Lim's death certificate.

“After the inquest result is out, only then we can take the next course of action,” he said.

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