Deceased fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s injuries on the night of the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple riots last year were not consistent with being beaten, said an expert.
Medical forensics specialist Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi told Coroner Rofiah Mohamad that the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) autopsy done on Adib showed that the injuries were more likely to have been caused by him being hit by the Emergency Response Rescue Service (EMRS) as it was reversing.
Ahmad, 40, said that in his opinion, Adib, 24, may have exited the van in a hurry at the riot scene when the vehicle suddenly reversed, causing its open back door to slam the firefighter on the left side of his body.
He said Adib may have then been thrown forward by the impact, causing him to sustain injuries to his right rib cage when he hit hard against an object in front of him.
“I also do not rule out the possibility that he may have been squeezed (between the van and a parked car),” he added.
He also told the court that two of Adib’s broken rib bones had pierced his right lung.
According to Ahmad, the fireman’s second, third, fourth and fifth ribs on the right were broken, with the third rib broken in three places and the fourth in two.
Referring to these in court from a CT scan taken before the post-mortem, he said the broken tips of the fourth and fifth ribs had pierced Adib’s right lung.
He said he established this of the fourth and fifth rib bones during an internal examination of the fireman’s body at 1am on December 18 last year.
Adib, 24, died at the National Heart Institute on December 17, 21 days after he was severely injured in a riot at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ 25, Subang Jaya, on November 27 last year. He had gone there with a team to put out a car fire.
The inquest is to determine the cause of his death. There have been allegations that his injuries were due to an attack by the rioters and there are claims that he was injured after a fire truck reversed into him.
Ahmad was the 24th witness testified at the inquest hearing today into the fireman’s death.
He has held his post since July 2013. He conducts post-mortems at the request of courts or the police, as well as clinical forensic exams.
He was present during a clinical forensic examination of Adib while he was at IJN by his superior, Dr Mohd Syah Mahmud.
He was also involved in the post-mortem of deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais.
Another doctor previously said he had heard cracking sounds in Adib’s ribcage while examining him, which he attributed to a fracture of rib bones. A lung injury was also identified.
Dr Nantha Kumaren Muthu from the Subang Jaya Medical Centre where Adib was first taken said the cause of the lung injury was likely major blunt force trauma.
However, another doctor there said the injury could also have been a crush injury, or caused by a fall from a height, acceleration or assault, although he added that this was unlikely.
Today is the 16th day of the inquest.