KOTA BARU:Two shoppers were killed after a driver lost control of her car on an upstairs open air parking of a mall, slamming the vehicle into a retaining wall before plunging down three stories.
Another shopper was seriously injured in the freak accident that occurred at 4.45pm when the mall in Jalan Hamzah was packed with weekend patrons.
Nurain Said, who was in the car when it plunged down, miraculously survived the 54-metre fall. The dead have been identified as trainee nurses Siti Nuramira Shamsuddin, 19, and Siti Nurdiana Azman, 18, from a local college, both of whom died on the spot after being hit by falling debris. Both Rashidah Ahmad Latif, 18, and Nurain have been admitted to the Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital with head injuries.
District OCPD ACP Zahruddin Abdullah said the original driver of the car - identified only as Sabri - had earlier gotten out of the car, which had stalled at the parking area.
He said Sabri then told his 17-year-old sister Nurain to get behind the wheel while he pushed the car in an attempt to jumpstart the engine.
ACP Zahruddin said while Sabri was pushing the car, the engine suddenly came to life, causing the car to lunge forward and smash into the retaining wall, which also served as the building’s ventilation airway.
He said Siti Nuramira, who was on the second floor of the building, and Siti Nurdiana, standing on the ground close to the escalator, could have died after being crushed by concrete debris.
We are looking for Sabri and another woman identified as Nurul Atikah to assist police in their investigations for reckless driving,” he said.
A witness Hazura Ariffin, 25, said she heard a loud bang that shook the building. “I thought it was an earthquake at first. I was shocked to see the wrecked car lying in the middle of the mall between the escalators,” she said.
Police had since cordoned off the building and advised all patrons to vacate the building to avoid further casualties.
Crowds waiting outside the mall attracted the curiousity of motorists, causing serious traffic jam along the road. Traffic only resumed to normal two hours later.