Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Penang freak storm: Inquest to be held to certify death of missing hawker

An inquest will be carried out to certify the death of 44-year-old economy rice seller who is believed buried in a crater in Macalister Road, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said the inquest, to be carried out for three days starting today, was to give closure to Lim Chin Aik's family.

“Penang police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi will lead the inquest team. The results will be forwarded to the National Registration Department so a death certificate can be issued for the family to file their insurance claim,” he said at the Penang State Museum and Art Gallery in Macalister Road near the incident site yesterday.

Lim is believed to be buried 7m under the rubble following the collapse of a lightning arrestor from Menara Umno after a deadly storm last Thursday.

The impact of the structure's fall also killed Indian national Jahir Hussain Sulaiman, 46.

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Dr Ahmad Zahid said this was the best decision as search and rescue operation had to be called off as cracks had started to develop on the museum building and the Pakistani Mosque due to the digging.

Dr Ahmad Zahid added that since Lim was the sole breadwinner of his family, it was important that they receive help as soon as possible.

“I will inform the welfare department to help Lim's family as soon as possible,” he said.

Great Eastern Northern Bancassurance regional manager Ooi Kok Soon said, for the accidental death claim, a claimant has to submit a death certificate, police report and a post-mortem report.

Several Penang Hospital forensic department's pathologists led by Datuk Dr Zahari Noor were later seen checking out the wrecked car parts dug out from the crater.

Dr Zahari said they were looking for human body parts and tissues but did not find anything.

“We have asked the authorities to drain the crater so that we can see if we can retrieve something.”

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state government planned to carry out checks on all high-rise buildings with tall structures.

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