The forensic doctor who conducted a post-mortem examination on Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim told the inquest into the fireman’s death that a video recording of the Seafield temple riot was not much help in showing what happened to Adib.
Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi of Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) said only 28 seconds of the 46-second video were clear and showed Adib in the van. After that, the video was shaky and focused more on the ground. This was when the fire rescue tender (FRT) reversed into the emergency medical rescue service (EMRS) van.
The video has been tendered to the Coroner’s Court as evidence.
“We cannot see what happened to the reversing truck when it hit the van because the footage was shifted to the ground,” Hafizam said.
“If he was forcefully pulled out from the van after the 28 seconds until the video ends, it is a very short time for anyone to pull out a trained firefighter and he would have defended himself with all his means.”
Hafizam added it was impossible that Adib, a trained firefighter, had not defended himself if he was being pulled out of the van during the riot.
He was responding to lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who is representing the housing and local government ministry, on whether there was a possibility that Adib might have been dragged out from the passenger seat of his medical van.
“Based on my examination, I did not find any grip marks or injuries to suggest he was fighting an assault.
“I took into consideration that the scenario was chaotic that night. A conscious man like the victim would be defending his life from assault,” he said.
Hafizam said as there was no solid evidence in the form of the video recording to show how Adib had sustained his injuries, he and his supervisor, Dr Mohd Shah Mahmood, were asked by police to go to the scene and reconstruct what might have happened that night.
He said the police provided them with the van and truck that were deployed to the scene on Nov 27 last year.
“We wanted to establish what was the possible object that could have caused seven of his ribs on the back to fracture. Our theory was that the object must be something that was thin and hard,” Hafizam said.
He said he and Shah ruled out the possibility of six objects found behind the fire truck as these could have caused worse injuries.
“We found part of the van passenger’s door that matched our theory of a thin and hard object that may have caused seven ribs on his left side of the back to be broken,” he added.
The broken ribs were consistent with being hit by the door of the EMRS van, he said.
The inquest was called by the government amid conflicting claims on the cause of Adib’s death.
Adib was part of a response team sent from the Subang Jaya fire and rescue station on Nov 27 to the temple area in answer to a call that cars had been set on fire. He died at the National Heart Institute on Dec 17. – FMT