Mall explosion: Financial loss nothing compared to loss of lives

KUCHING, Dec 7: The total financial loss from the recent explosion of NeNe Chicken food outlet at CityOne Megamall could not be compared to the lives lost and those injured, expressed director of Kenbest Sdn Bhd (developer of CityOne Megamall) Stephen Long Tine Chung.

Speaking to reporters after visiting Tchee Fah Hin today, Long said he was very sad and grieved over the incident, because of the pain all the victims and their families were experiencing right now.

Tchee’s son Kiam Jong, 24, was one of the three victims that died in the explosion on Dec 4.

“Their pain and the death of three victims cannot be measured or compared to the amount of losses in monetary value from this incident.

“When I visited the victims, it pained to see them suffer. Many had burns, broken bones and were in casts. They told me it was very painful. I wish it was me laying in the hospital bed instead of them. I sincerely apologise over the incident. Please forgive me,” Long said, as he bowed for forgiveness.

Meanwhile, plans to reopen CityOne Megamall to the public was not on the priority list for now.

“We want to make sure that CityOne Megamall is safe before we reopen. As of today, the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) has indicated that the malls are safe to be in.

“The structural engineers and consultants that conducted a thorough check also confirmed that the area was safe. The switch board, gen set room, irrigation and sprinkle system are all fine,” Long said.

The mall has been handed over to the Bomba, forensics department and police since the incident.

He also revealed that they had written to the local council (MBKS) to inform that everything in the mall was intact.

“We should be able to open the mall whenever we are ready. Although the authority has given us the green light, I just want to make sure that everything is safe. I cannot afford another incident,” he said, adding that human lives were of the utmost importance and should be protected at all costs. — DayakDaily