BENTONG – The fallen tree incident at Lata Charok waterfall that killed two students from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) happened very fast that that the victims could not escape due to shock apart from darkness.
One of the victims, Mohd Ammar Affandi Ahmad Subki, 20, who broke his left leg in the incident, said that he was cooking while others were asleep when it happened.
“There was no strong wind or rain, everything was good. However, suddenly we heard a loud noise like a broken twig before a large tree crushed us,” he told reporters at the Forensic Unit of the Bentong Hospital here today.
Still traumatised and distraught, Mohammad Ammar Affandi said Noorain Mohtar, 23, from Sungai Besar, Selangor and Muhamad Kamil Md Sukri, 22, of Sabak Bernam, Selangor, were sleeping in their tents, when the accident happened, killing both of them.
” It was chaotic and dark as I tried to pull my feet that was trapped under the tree to try and save other friends. I didn’t even feel any pain then. We tried to save others but we couldn’t lift the tree trunk because it was just too big and heavy,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of the trainers in charge of the programme said that the site was often used as a camping area and other outdoor activities, without any untoward incident as it was situated close to chalets.
According to Zone II Fire and Rescue Supt Shahrin Yusmar Mat Yusof, the absence of Muhammad Kamil went unnoticed by the management of UiTM as well as his colleagues, until after the ‘head count’ at 7.30am at a clearing near the chalet, where all students had gathered.
“Immediately the search and rescue operation was carried out at the scene and after more than four and a half hours, one of the firefighters had found the victim at 12.15pm, pinned under the big tree,” he said when contacted here today.
He said after nearly two and a half hours of hard work and various methods mobilised, the team managed to bring the body out at 1.44pm.
Meanwhile, Bentong police chief Supt Mohd Mansor Mohd Nor confirmed that the activities in the area was carried out without prior notification to either the police or the Forestry Department.
In the 4am incident, two students were killed when a large tree fell on a group of 140 students and four lecturers from UiTM Puncak Alam, Shah Alam, Selangor, who were camping at the site and about to start their activities there.