PENANG STORM HAVOC: Police confirm car belongs to 44-year old Lim Chin Aik

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GEORGE TOWN: A 44-year old hawker who was reported missing since the freak thunderstorm lashed its fury in Penang on Thursday, is feared to be the third casualty after his wrecked Honda City was found in a five-metre deep crater in Jalan Macalister here.

The huge crater was created by the lightning arrestor pole which plunged from Menara Umno here.
 
Bernama reported Penang police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi has confirmed that the chassis number of the vehicle found at the site of the Menara Umno lightning arrestor collapse at Jalan Macalister here matched rice seller Lim Chin Aik's car.  
 
He said the discovery solved the case of the man who was reported missing since the day of the incident.   
 
"We received a missing persons report from his wife the day after the incident. We found the details provided matched the evidence discovered today," he told reporters at the site of the mishap here last night.
 
Abdul Rahim said the victim's body was yet to be recovered and the search and rescue team was working hard at the site.  
 
So far only car parts such as tyres, engine and bumper have been recovered, he added.  
 
Meanwhile, Lim's family, who had started a frantic search for the economic rice hawker, were seen waiting anxiously at the site after it was confirmed that a chassis number found at the car wreckage, belonged to his vehicle.
 
The grim discovery was made at about 6.15pm yesterday, about 48 hours after Lim went missing after leaving home in a grey-coloured Honda City to fetch his daughter.
 
His wife Lee Chai Song, 48, and family members rushed to the scene as soon as the news broke.
 
Lee said her husband was driving from his home in Weld Quay to Penang Chinese Girls School in Jalan Gottlieb to fetch their 13-year-old daughter, Lim Huey Jien.
 
She said Lim had left the home about 7pm, and often used Jalan Macalister to get to the school.
 
“About 9:30pm, I received a call from the school teacher saying that my daughter was not picked up.
 
“My husband left his handphone at home because it was a short trip. He did not call us. I got very worried then,” she said.
 
Lee said she grew anxious after hearing about the disaster.
 
“I am praying hard that it is not my husband. I am hoping and praying,” she said while sobbing.
 
As at Press time, the Fire and Rescue Department personnel, with the help of two excavators tirelessly excavating tones of earth, mostly marine clay.
 
Penang Health and Welfare Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh who was presence to monitor the excavation works,  said the car was probably buried five meter under a beam structure from the fallen lightning arrestor pole.
 
"We have summoned a wrecking tractor to break that beam to pave way for works to extricate the car," he said.
 
The Thursday thunderstorm disaster had claimed the life of an Indian immigrant worker at the same site, while a  Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) employee, Wong Tze Chow, 32, was killed by an uprooted tree in Air Itam.
 

Rescuers work through the evening to dig through the rubble for signs of the victim.

Lim Chin Aik, 44, is believed to be the third victim.

Digging continues to search for signs of human remains in the crater in Jalan Macalister, Penang. NST Pix by Michael Ong

The pile of car parts belonging to a wrecked Honda City found in the crater. NST pix by Ramdzan Masiam

The pile of car parts remnants found in the crater. NST pix by Ramdzan Masiam

Rescuers searching for the victim believed to be buried together with the Honda City underneath the rubble in the crater in Jalan Macalister, Penang. NST pix by Ramdzan Masiam


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