Siti screamed for help in phone call to mum before helicopter crashed

TRAGIC LOSS: Siti Khuzaimah with her family in a file photo.

KUCHING: “Mak, tolong! Tolong!” (Mum, help! Help!) That frantic scream for help was the last Siti Khuzaimah’s mum heard from her before the Eurocopter EC120 with four persons on board crashed into Sungai Teriso, near Sebuyau, at about 9.30am on Friday.

Despite endless prayers and hope that nothing untoward would happen to the 27-year-old girl, shock and grief permeated the family yesterday when news broke out that Siti had died in the crash.

Her body was found by local fishermen near Maludam area at about 11am.

The body of another passenger Peter Ato Mayau, 53, was found at around 2 pm yesterday. Henry Loh is still missing at press time.

PAINFUL REMINDER: Siti with fiancé Mohd Faitullah Ali during their engagement ceremony on January 1.

The German pilot Rico Steger, 35, managed to extricate himself from the wreckage and swam for a few hours before reaching Kpg Tebelu in Sebuyau and rescued shortly pass noon.

The ill-fated helicopter was heading to Nanga Merit in Kapit when the accident occurred.

One of Siti’s aunts, when met at her parent’s house at Lorong Haji Babel in Semariang near here, said Siti, who was a quantity surveyor with Sebiro Holdings – which owned the helicoper, had phoned her mother  around the time the helicopter was believed to have encountered technical problems.

The aunt alleged Siti had screamed: “Mak, tolong! Tolong!”

That call turned out to be last contact Siti’s mother had with her daughter. Worst still, the pain was made harder to bear considering that Siti planned to get married on Nov 30 this year.

“Siti was going to get married at the end of this year. No one could have thought that this would happen to her,” said her best friend Aimi Nuraida Ali Hassan in between sobs.

She had known Siti since their primary school days.

Another close friend, Normalina Nawawi, told reporters how depressing
it was to hear of the tragic death,
especially considering Siti’s planned marriage following her engagement early this year.

Another relative, when met at the  family home, revealed that the ‘Akad Nikah’ (marriage solemnisation) was to take place on Nov 30 and ‘majlis persandingan’ (enthronement of the couple on a dais) on Dec 2.

“Seeing all her wedding preparations just made me feel so sad,” she sobbed.

The parents and siblings of Siti Khuzaimah were not at home when the press visited.

IN GRIEF: Two of Siti Khuzaimah’s best friends could not hold back their tears upon learning the tragic news. — Photo by Mahathir Haroun

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