IPOH (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A day after they went missing while travelling from Sungai Petani to Shah Alam, Major Azmi Abdul Rahim finally got to know the fate of his mother, brother and two nephews.
The assistant commanding officer of the 25th battalion of the Royal Malaysian Army watched teary-eyed as the coffins of the four, killed in an accident, were carried out of the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital mortuary.
The charred remains of his mother, Rosmani Abd Ghani, 65, his brother, Azhar Abdul Rahim, 43, and his brother's two sons, Aizat Azhar, 18, and Danial Azhar, 13, were found trapped in their badly-burnt car on the side of KM264.2 of the North-South Expressway near the Menora Tunnel here on Friday.
Rescue personnel only discovered the Honda Accord and the bodies at about 11am on Friday when removing the wreckage of an accident that took place the day before.
It was reported that a trailer had crashed into the divider and burst into flames on the southbound lane of the expressway at about 1am on Thursday.
Two men travelling in the trailer, which burst into flames, managed to escape with injuries.
Ipoh OCPD Assistant Commissioner Sum Chang Keong said the mangled car had initially gone unnoticed by the rescuers as it was pinned under the wreckage of the trailer.
The trailer driver and attendant, he said, were seeking treatment at the hospital here.
Maj Azmi said the four had left Sungai Petani for Shah Alam to collect Aizat's SPM results at about 10pm on Wednesday.
"They were supposed to have reached my home in Shah Alam at around 4am to 5am on Thursday. We started getting very worried when they could not be contacted and no one knew of their whereabouts.
"When night came, I reported their disappearance to PLUS Bhd," he said at the mortuary here, adding that he even mounted a search on Friday morning.
"As my men and I were having lunch at the RTC Gopeng, my uncle called to tell me the bad news," said Maj Azmi, whose uncle is Pahang police chief Datuk Seri Sharifuddin Abd Ghani.
In Kuala Terengganu, Rosmani's husband Abdul Rahim Talib, 69, said she had called him to tell him that they had left and asked him to pray for their safe journey.
"I did not know that it would be her last request," said the retired policeman, adding that he had learned about their deaths from his son Mohd Hafis, 31, who was shocked to receive condolence messages and pictures of the accident via WhatsApp.