Woman dies in ambulance while waiting for Sungai Tujoh ICQS gate to open
MIRI (Dec 7): An elderly woman from Lawas died before an ambulance that was supposed to send her to hospital could go through the gate of Sungai Tujoh Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) early Tuesday.
According to Pastor Billy John of Borneo Evangelical Mission (BEM) church in Ulu Gelugus, Lawas, who was accompanying the woman, there was nobody at the gate when the ambulance arrived there around 1.30am.
“The driver blared the horn but the security guard said the person holding the key was not there at the time, hence the gate could not be opened,” he said when contacted.
The pastor, who is the woman’s nephew, said she had heart problems.
“That night, she complained of breathing difficulties. I immediately called Lawas Hospital, requesting for an ambulance.
“Throughout the journey from Lawas, the paramedics performed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on her several times and she seemed alright but at the ICQS, we had to wait for the security guard to get hold of the key bearer, who never showed up.
“It was around that time my aunt breathed her last. Still, I felt that we still must go to (Miri) Hospital.
“As such, we had to force open the gate to continue our journey,” said Billy, adding that they had some help from a few local People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) members to break open the gate.
He said they arrived at the hospital around 3am.
Billy said he would lodge a police report over the incident.
A post about the incident has gone viral on social media, accompanied by a photo showing the woman in the ambulance.
When asked about the post, Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said it is indeed a very unfortunate incident.
“The officer or person who brought the key home was really irresponsible, knowing that this kind of emergency could happen at any time.
“A clear SOP (standard operating procedures) must be in place to ensure this would not happen again. This incident fortifies the need for the Sarawak-Sabah Link Road (SSLR) to be expedited so that in case of such emergency, we will not be subjected to third party’s discretion,” he said.
Meanwhile, Miri MP Chiew Choon Man, when contacted, said he was trying to verify the situation with the hospital and the Immigration Department.
“We will then meet with the Immigration officer as I believe the borders and customs matters fall under the jurisdiction of the department.
“I will let you know if there’s any update on this incident,” he said.
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