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Pair of twins, brother die in fiery tragedy

What’s left of the workers’ quarters in Semporna where three children died.

17th April, 2018


SEMPORNA: A pair of five-year-old twins and their kid brother died a fiery death in a tragedy that struck workers’ quarters at the TSH Collection Centre here at about 7.40pm on Sunday.

The victims have been identified as Harmasius Roman @ Abdullah and his twin sister Fonsaliana, and their younger brother Amsalinus, 4.

Semporna Police Chief Supt Peter Umbuas said early investigation indicated that the children were left at their two-floor home by their father who had gone to fetch their mother from nearby Pegagau.

The father told the police that the children were left in the ground floor living room where the door was not locked, while the kitchen door was locked.

The children’s parents were approaching their home when they saw thick smoke billowing, only to discover a short while later that it was their dwelling that was on fire.

Supt Peter said the father tried to save the children but was driven back by a rapidly spreading fire.

The twins’ bodies were found at the stairs leading to the top floor, while that of Amasalinus was found in the kitchen area, signs that they had made an unsuccessful attempt at saving themselves.

The victims’ bodies have been sent to the local hospital, and are expected to be sent to the Tawau hospital for forensic investigation.

Semporna Fire and Rescue chief Fazizul Hizam Borhan said his officers received a distress call at about 7.47pm. The fire was located about 15km from the Fire and Rescue station.

Ten men on two fire trucks were dispatched to the scene. They arrived at a semi-permanent dwelling that was engulfed in flames.

“When our men were told about the three children inside, they made desperate attempts at rescuing them, but were not successful,” said Fazizul.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

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