Langkawi ferry fire: Passengers recount narrow escape

Langkawi ferry fire: Passengers recount narrow escape

LANGKAWI,. Six years of experience as a volunteer of the Malaysia Civil Defence Force (MCDF) held this member in good stead to assist another soul in a ferry fire here yesterday evening.

Kulim MCDF member, Noor Fatiha Arshad 29, who was in the ferry said that as soon as the passengers were directed to exit she was able to help a young girl.

‘‘The dark condition in the ferry was due to thick smoke. I held her and took her out and put on her life vest.

‘‘I was also shivering at that time but as a result of the training in MCDF I was not afraid anymore and girded my spirit to help the youth,’’ she told Bernama here last night.

Noor Fatiha, who was in the ferry to return home after attending the launching of the Langkawi District MCDF complex on Sunday, said she lost all her bags including valuable items such as a laptop computer, a gold chain and MCDF uniform.

For civil servants Syamim Hassan, uppermost on his mind during the confusion, was the safety of his six month pregnant wife.

‘‘I guided my wife until we were out of the ferry. However, we were separated during the process to save ourselves as she boarded a different life boat,’’ said Syamin who conceded that he was traumatised by the incident.

Syamin also lost all his bags including items like chocolates, saucers and bowls, pots and sea cucumber oil worth thousands of ringgits which were bought during their holiday together.

Meanwhile, Kedah State Assembly deputy Speaker and Ayer Hangat State Assemblyman Juhari Bulat thanked the skippers of an island hopping tourist boat and a boat to Pulau Tuba for taking the passengers on board their boats.

‘‘We also thank Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad through the Langkawi Member of Parliament’s Office who rented a special ferry for the passengers who wanted to return to Kuala Perlis at 6pm.

‘‘I urge the passengers to lodge a police report on their luggage which were burned. We will also determine as to whom will bear the losses, whether the ferry operators or the insurance company concerned,’’ he added. ­— Bernama

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