Fire Which Killed 4 Ipoh Students On Their First Day Of Work Likely Caused By Fireworks

They were working there part-time to earn pocket money.

Cover image via New Straits Times/Bernama

Six people, four of whom were students, died after a fire broke out in the two-storey shophouse they worked at in Puncak Jelapang Maju, Ipoh on Tuesday, 11 December

New Straits Times reported that the shophouse was home to an event management business which supplied equipments such as canopies, PA systems, and lighting.

The victims have since been identified in Malay Mail as 40-year-old P. Thiagarajun, who is believed to be the owner of the business, while the other victims are his five part-time workers:
- Mohd Nor Aiman Abdul Rahman, 16,
- Mohamad Nor Ikram Mohd Husni, 15,
- Mohd Ikhmal Izzudin Mohd Kamari, 16,
- Ahmad Faizal Amiruddin, 16, and
- Mohamad Azhar Shah Rosli, 19.

Perak CID chief Senior Asst Comm Yahya Abd Rahman said, "The four students were on their first day at work yesterday (11 December). They were trying to earn some pocket money during the school holidays, but the tragedy occurred, it's very unfortunate."

About 20 firemen were needed to put out the fire of the premise, though it was already 40% burnt when they arrived

Channel NewsAsia reported that eyewitnesses said there were "a series of explosions before the fire broke out at 1.55pm".

The police reported that the bodies of the victims were so badly burnt beyond recognition, showing the strength of the explosion.

Meanwhile, a local fire and rescue official said the victims' bodies were found at various spots in the premise, indicating that they tried to escape. 

The police now believe that the explosion was likely caused by fireworks

In a Malay Mail report yesterday, 12 December, Yahya revealed that the bodies of the victims had traces of sulphur and fireworks residue on them.

It was noted in a Channel NewsAsia report that the neighbouring shophouse is occupied by a firecrackers and fireworks supplier.

Yahya added that the police will investigate if the burnt shophouse had been used to store some of the explosives belonging to its neighbour.

The case is being investigated under for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The five students were buried in the same plot yesterday evening, 12 December, in a ceremony attended by more than 300 family members and residents

Their bodies were laid to rest at the Kuala Pari cemetery.

Meanwhile, family members of Thiagarajun will lay him to rest in Buntong, a suburb in Ipoh.

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