06 December 2008

LANDSLIDE TRAGEDY IN BUKIT ANTARABANGSA, KUALA LUMPUR (NON FOOTBALL RELATED ISSUE)

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8.20pm : Still in the office.

It has been a long day. I have to arrange and manage my staffs movement plus reporting the whole day. At noon, I pass some money to one staff so that she can buy some foods for the team at the site. I remember vividly during the Highland Towers tragedy 15 years ago. I was a rookie then. 11 December 1993. Imagine. It's less than 5 days to make it 15 years anniversary. Now I can take a breath and relax my shoulder a bit. Some how, the memory remains.

I was on the way back from Pantai Bharu that day. There was a crime scene. Three Indonesian bodies were found in the lift-shaft. The great Datuk Zaman Khan was there! And we thought that was the story of the day. After all, murder case that involved 3 persons in a day is not that often occurred.

I was on a bus-mini and just passing through the old Lever Brothers building when my `sophisticated' item : The Pager, rang and a short text read : LAND SLIDE AT HULU KLANG. First time, I ignored. Land slide is not a murder case. The attraction is less. But then, the pager rang again and there was additional note : CALL OFFICE URGENT. Damned! I told myself. The office equipped me with the pager but no hand phone! So what do you do? Go look for the public phone la. But I was on the bus mini. How? I have to get off. Now my 60 cents bus-fare is gone. So I ran to the public phone in front of the Jalan Riong and was questioned by my editor of why I didn't report ASAP to him. Hello bos... I was on a public transport and I don't have a hand phone (In 1993, the phone was as long as your arms, remember?).

It took me another hour before I reached my office at Bernama, Jalan Tun Razak. My colleague already waited anxiously for me with the driver. He asked me to carry the HOTLINE phone. Oh my God! You carry the phone with the battery, man ! And the battery is similar to the car battery. Huge and heavy but very reliable. 24 hours guarantee can use and you can recharge inside the Proton Saga!

As we arrived at the main entrance of the towers, I had a shock of my life and even though I was walking towards the site, I feel like not walking. The amazement and unbelievable feeling and thoughts were speeding like a Porshe in me. I didn't realised that I would be there until the next day! So... today is a reminiscent of what I have experienced some 15 years ago. Covering the towers took more than 7 days. A total of 48 people were killed in the tragedy. I went there a few years ago and the whole place was so grimmed and... freaky.

It is very fortunate that today's incident didn't killed too many victims. Even so, I can feel the agony and the sorrow the families are having now. I was there, albeit 15 years ago. But the scenario is the same. People lost their families. Lost their homes, cars and other precious properties. The reason behind the landslide is something I would not comment. It's up to the authority to deal with. The Highland Towers should have been a good warning and lesson for every one that building houses next to the hill side is a recipe for doom.

People tend to forget fast.


utusanLFC is leaving the office in 10 minutes. SALAM!

1 comment:

grand cannon said...

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