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‘Roof came crashing down on us’

‘Roof came crashing down on us’

GEORGE TOWN: Nurul Hawa Abdullah was chatting and doing homework with her friends when she heard loud rumblings coming from the roof.

The next thing she knew, the lights at the Wisma Yatim Perempuan Islam Pulau Pinang orphanage in Jalan Scotland went off and the roof came crashing down on their heads.

“We all screamed when it turned pitch black.

“Everyone scrambled to escape,” said the 13-year-old, who was among 30 people in the orphanage when a section of the roof collapsed.

Three people were injured in the incident at 9.42pm on Tuesday. They are Nur Jannah Motaleb, eight, Nur Batrisya Mohd Raffei, 10, and Siti Syahirah Zulkipli, 13.

They were rescued from the rubble of the roof collapse and received treatment at the Penang Hospital. They were discharged yesterday.

All safe now: Rescue workers and orphanage staff checking on the students affected by the roof collapse as they wait to be transferred to a different part of the orphanage. — LIM BENG TATT/The StarAll safe now: Rescue workers and orphanage staff checking on the students affected by the roof collapse as they wait to be transferred to a different part of the orphanage. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

The remaining 24 occupants and three wardens have since been transferred to the male quarters nearby.

They were resting in other rooms when the incident happened.

Warden Noor Niah Abu Bakar said she was performing prayers in another room when she was startled by the loud noise.

“I rushed to the scene and found the roof had collapsed. Other wardens who went there managed to find the three injured girls before firemen arrived,” she said.

The orphanage president Tan Sri Mohd Yusoff Latiff said the affected building had undergone the required annual maintenance.

“The roof structure which collapsed is maintained by the management. We never expected this could happen as the building’s maintenance work has been done annually according to requirements stipulated by the authorities,” he said.

Mohd Yusoff said investigations by agencies such as the Public Works Department, Penang Island City Council and others were ongoing, adding that the building would be repaired upon completion of investigation.

The orphanage started operations in 1984. Penang Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak paid a visit to the orphanage yesterday.



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