APM Officer In Despair Shares How He's Still Heartbroken Over The Elmina Tragedy

It has been almost a week since a business jet crashed and killed 10 people near Elmina, Sungai Buloh on 17 August.

Cover image via Harian Metro & Asyraf Hamzah/New Straits Times

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The tragic incident involving a jet crash in Elmina has left a deep impact on the minds of those involved in the disaster response operation

The memories of the past five days remain etched with sorrow as the images of the scattered remains of the victims at the plane crash site continue to haunt the minds of those involved in the operation.

Kang Wei Xian, an operations officer from the Special Operations Unit of the Civil Defence Force (PASPA), expressed the emotional toll the tragedy has taken on him.

"It has been five days since the crash, yet the heart-wrenching memories of picking up the victims' remains still linger in my mind," he said.

The special operation, carried out collaboratively by PASPA, the Fire and Rescue Department (BOMBA), the Forensic Police Unit, and the Forensic Unit of the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), aimed to recover the victims of the air crash and provide closure to their families.

In the tragedy that killed 10 people on Thursday 17 August, a Beechcraft 390 Premier I business jet fell from the sky and crashed near Elmina, Sungai Buloh, Selangor.

"About 10 PASPA personnel were sent to carry out a Search And Rescue (SAR) operation for the victims... Apart from that, Selangor Civil Defence Force (APM) also despatched 13 members from the Klang and Petaling districts to aid and assist in the operation," he told Harian Metro this morning, 23 August.

A crash control post was also set up by the APM, with the objective of assisting the police and the Ministry of Health's forensics teams to carefully remove the victims' remains from the crash site, Ground Zero.

According to Kang, their primary task was to assist other agency personnel in retrieving the victims from the crash site

"As an operations officer from PASPA, my main responsibility was to coordinate SAR operations according to the established Disaster Victim Identification protocol. On the day of the incident, I was also involved in collecting and gathering fragments of the victims' remains," he said.

He shared that the overwhelming sadness he felt upon seeing severely burned bodies is indescribable.

"It is hard to describe the sadness and despair seeing the bodies of the victims that were badly burnt. Most of the remains were not in perfect state," the Malay daily quoted the operations officer as saying.

The operations officer stressed that every conceivable effort was made to meticulously retrieve all fragments of the victims' remains from Ground Zero before transferring them to the MOH forensic team

"Although all 10 victims have tragically lost their lives, our actions are considered a final tribute to them. The final moments of the victims, just before the aircraft plummeted at a high velocity and met its tragic fate, remain almost unfathomable," Kang stated.

He went on to share that the poignant scene at the crash site stirred profound emotions within him and his fellow APM members, evoking an overwhelming sense of empathy for the victims and their families.

Meanwhile, a quick-thinking kindergarten teacher saved her students' lives when the business jet crashed last week:

Read more about the crash here:

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