Three college students who fell asleep in their car with the engine running died from carbon monoxide poisoning early this morning while another friend – a twin of one of the deceased – is in critical condition.
The four college students, all aged 21, were on their way back to Sungai Petani when they stopped at the parking lot of a fuel station in Sama Gagah along the North-South Highway at about 8.30pm last night.
Surveillance footage of the site showed them leaving the vehicle, believed to be for food, and returning shortly after.
They never exited the vehicle again in the recording.
One of the victims, Ayuni Shazwanie Shabri, had sent a message to her mother at about 9.15pm yesterday to inform her that they were resting at the carpark before resuming their drive.
When she failed to return home at about 11pm, her father went to the site to search for them and found all four unconscious in a Honda Odyssey with the engine still running and all doors closed.
An ambulance arrived at the scene at about 1am and one of four, Sharifah Fariesha Syed Fathi, was pronounced dead at the scene while the three others were rushed to the Seberang Jaya Hospital.
Ayuni died later at the hospital while Nor Adilah Mohd Safwan died at 4.23pm at the intensive care unit of the Army Hospital in Lumut, Perak.
Nor Adilah’s twin, Nor Aqilah, remains in critical condition at the hospital.
All four of them were course mates who studied pharmacy and were awaiting their convocation.
The deceased: Sharifah Fariesha Syed Fathi (seated, left), Ayuni Shazwanie Shabri (back, left) and one of the twins, Nor Adilah (seated, right).
They were returning to their respective homes in Sungai Petani, Bedong and Gurun after a trip to Pulau Jerejak in Penang.
Central Seberang Perai District Police Chief Assistant Commissioner Shafee Abd Samad confirmed the incident.
Meanwhile, Shafee said checks carried out on the vehicle by a Honda technician from the Bukit Mertajam branch found a possible leakage at the vehicle’s exhaust.
“During inspection, the exhaust produced a sound and a large amount of smoke.
“As a result of the leakage, the smoke entered the car,” he added.
It was also reported that Nor Aqilah, who was driving at the time, had stopped for a break after she complained of a headache and had vomited.