APM Officer Opens Up About Lingering Heartache from Elmina Tragedy

The devastating incident involving a jet crash in Elmina has left an indelible mark on all those who participated in the heart-wrenching disaster response efforts.

As the memories of the past five days linger, the haunting images of the victims' scattered remains at the crash site continue to cast a somber shadow over the minds of those who bravely stepped forward in the face of this tragedy.

apm officer opens up about lingering heartache from elmina tragedyPhoto via New Straits Times

Kang Wei Xian, an operations officer from the Special Operations Unit of the Civil Defence Force (PASPA), shared the profound emotional toll that this calamity has exacted on him and his colleagues.

"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 expressed with heavy-hearted honesty.

The collaborative efforts of PASPA, the Fire and Rescue Department (BOMBA), the Forensic Police Unit, and the Forensic Unit of the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) aimed to retrieve the victims of the air crash and extend a semblance of closure to their grieving families.

The tragedy that claimed 10 lives on Thursday, August 17, saw a Beechcraft 390 Premier I business jet plunge from the skies, crashing near Elmina, Sungai Buloh, Selangor.

Kang shared, "Around 10 PASPA personnel were dispatched for a Search And Rescue (SAR) operation for the victims... Additionally, 13 members from the Klang and Petaling districts of the Selangor Civil Defence Force (APM) were also deployed to assist in the operation."

The APM established a crash control post, aiming to collaborate with the police and MOH's forensics teams in the meticulous removal of victims' remains from Ground Zero.

"As an operations officer from PASPA, my primary responsibility was to coordinate SAR operations following 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," Kang detailed.

The sight of severely burned bodies stirred an overwhelming sadness in him that is hard to put into words. "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," he revealed.

apm officer opens up about lingering heartache from elmina tragedyPhoto via Berita Harian

Kang emphasized that exhaustive efforts were dedicated to delicately retrieving every fragment of the victims' remains from Ground Zero before they were handed over to the MOH forensic team.

"While all 10 victims have tragically lost their lives, our actions stand as 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 reflected solemnly.

He conveyed the profound impact that the scene at the crash site had on him and his fellow APM members, stirring an overwhelming empathy for the victims and their families.

In this dark hour, we express our deep appreciation to all the rescue services and personnel who showed unparalleled selflessness and courage in the face of this tragedy. Your dedication to saving lives, even in the most challenging circumstances, stands as a beacon of hope and humanity.