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Uncontrolled atmosphere forced firefighters to retreat, says director-general.

The chaotic situation at the Sri Maha Mariamman Devasthanam temple in USJ 25 last night forced firefighters trying to put out the flames from the burning cars to retreat and abandon the operation.

In the fracas, a fireman from the Subang Jaya Emergency Response System (EMRS), Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim, 24, was also seriously injured after he was attacked by rioters.

Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department director-general Datuk Mohamad Hamdan Wahid said the fire department personnel had received an emergency call about the fire at about 1am today.

'A fire engine with seven members and an EMRS machine with two members were rushed to the site.

'Upon arriving at the scene, the two vehicles were surrounded by a group of rioters who also threw stones and tried to injure the personnel on duty,' he told reporters at press conference at Subang Jaya Medical Centre here.

According to Mohamad Hamdan, after the personnel found the situation to be beyond their control, the commander of the operation ordered his men to retreat.

'During the retreat, the victim, Muhammad Adib who was sitting at the front passenger of the EMRS vehicle was pulled out by the mob, but the driver was unaware of it.

'Upon returning to the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Centre, they noticed that Muhammad Adib was not there before trying to contact him.

'However, the call was answered by the public who informed them (rescuers) that they are on their way to the hospital,' he said.

Mohamad Hamdan added that the incident has resulted in damages to both vehicles, including broken front windshields and doors.

'Firefighters who survived the incident also suffered trauma but have been called for reinstatement as duty has to be continued.

'JBPM members are always ready to carry out their duties and hereafter we may coordinate operations with the authorities especially the police,' he said.

Muhammad Adib is currently in the intensive care unit of the Subang Jaya Medical Centre and is reported to be in critical condition.

He is under the supervision of five specialist physicians and relies on life support machines.

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Publication:Malay Mail Online (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
Date:Nov 27, 2018
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