MAKKAH – “So grateful to be able to sit and watch the Kaabah. When I came yesterday (Sept 10), I was not able to see the Kaabah. Today, we managed to get a good spot and get to pray in front of the Kaabah and face the multazam (Kaabah door)”.
Those were the last words of Rusiah Suar, 56, from Sungkai, Perak, one of the Malaysian hj pilgrims killed in the Makkah crane collapse tragedy last Friday, as recalled by her room mate, Zurina Yahya, 56.
Zurina, from Alor Setar, Kedah, said they were sitting in front of the Kaabah after the Asar prayer when there was a loud noise and suddenly the situation became chaotic with pilgrims running helter skelter.
Also with them were Zurinah’s mother, Khalijah Che Mat, in her 70s, her aunt Che Lian Saleh, 58, and roomate Jainah Amir, 58, fondly known as Mak Su.
During the commotion, Zurinah said she grabbed her mother and aunt by the hands, and saw Rusiah had collapsed.
“My thought then was to just get us to safety, and holding my mother and aunt by their hands, Mak Su and I ran out of the mosque to return to our place of accommodation,” she added.
She said it was when they reached the saie area that they realised there was blood splattered on their clothing, and so of some other pilgrims.
“People were running helter skelter from all directions in the mosque and there were shouts of “Allahuakbar” everywhere. Outside, the rain was falling heavily,” she recalled.
Zurina said the five of them left for the mosque before the Zuhor prayer.
“Then, Kak Rus was the one who held me, to give me support, because I have to rely on a walking stick following a back injury sustained in a road accident in 2013,” she said.
However, when tragedy struck at the mosque, Zurina said she was able to walk without the walking stick and got the strength to lead her mother, aunt and Jainah out of the mosque to their place of accommodation, at Maktab 89, Masaat Al Badae Building, about 900 metres from the Grand Mosque.
Zurina, Khalijah and Che Lian arrived on the holy land last Sept 9 and they were accommodated together in a room with Rusiah and Jainah.
Zurina said they were informed about Rusniah’s death after the Maghrib prayer yesterday.
Rusiah was confirmed as the first of the five Malaysian Haj pilgrims killed in the tragedy.
The fifth victim was Zainun Taha, 69, from Ampang, whose body was identified by family members at the Muassim Hospital mortuary in Makkah today.
The other three fatalities are from Kelantan. They are Siti Nurolshlizan Zolkifli, 37, from Tanah Merah; Rohana Ismail, 54, from Kuala Krai and Munah Jusoh, 73, from Cherang Ruku.
One of the missing Malaysian Haj pilgrims in the aftermath of the Makkah crane collapse tragedy, Abdul Muluk Ishak, 71, from Pantai Remis, Perak, was alive and well. – BERNAMA