KOTA KINABALU: Three men died while three more are being treated at a hospital after inhaling poisonous gas released from a fish storage chamber which had kept its contents beyond the time limit.
The three who died were identified as Imran Ladia, 41, Sandriato Julkifli, 22, and Risali Lapariama, 25, while the other three who are being treated at Likas Hospital are La Hebo La Dia, 25, La Suba Ahmad, 25, and La Ellie Lamoane, 30.
City police chief ACP M. Chandra disclosed that all six men who were Indonesian workers of a deep sea fishing company who had been offshore for seven days, had returned to the Sabah Port jetty about 12.30am yesterday.
At the time of the incident, at about 7.30am, the first victim was opening the fish storage chamber to unload the catch, but collapsed.
Seeing this, the second victim then went into the chamber to help his workmate but also collapsed. A similar outcome happened to the subsequent victims, until one of them, La Hebo, managed to come out of the chamber and asked the others to help the other victims.
The other workers managed to pull out the victims using a rope, but medical staff from the Likas Hospital who arrived at the scene about 8.40am, confirmed that two had died at the scene.
The other victims were taken to the hospital for treatment, but one was later confirmed to have died about 10.30am.
“The report was lodged by the company’s operation manager who also immediately called the Likas Hospital upon the discovery of the incident.”
Early reports by the Kota Kinabalu Fire and Rescue Service Department’s Fire and Chemical Unit Assistant Superintendent Khairul Anuar Pajar Ali confirmed that there was hydrogen sulfide inside the fish storage chamber of dangerous amount that can cause death when inhaled. It was produced by the storing of fish beyond the supposed period and without good ventilation.