Expert proposes Adib’s injuries caused by kicks against EMRS van

Prof. Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid leaves after attending the inquest into fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s death at the Shah Alam High Court April 9, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Prof. Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid leaves after attending the inquest into fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s death at the Shah Alam High Court April 9, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

SHAH ALAM, April 9 — Late fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim’s wounds may have been caused by being kicked at while positioned between his Emergency Medical Response Service (EMRS) van and its door, his death inquest heard today.

Former forensics oncology professor and pathology expert Prof Dr Shahrom Abd Wahid, 62, said he reached his conclusion after examining the evidence provided to him by Syazlin Mansor, the lawyer the representing the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

“What I had set out to do was perform a forensic reconstruction and reenactment based on the evidence given to me, done all for reasons of evidence,” he said.

Dr Shahrom compiled a report theorising that Muhammad Adib had been pulled out of the left front seat while the EMRS van was reversing during the riots in November, with at least one person kicking the door at the same time.

While being questioned by Syazlin, he said the combined force was the most likely cause of the rib fractures, abrasions, and swelling of the lungs on Muhammad Adib’s right side.

“It needs more than 3,300 Newtons, or 300 kilograms of force, or three and a half people to break someone’s ribs 25 per cent of the time, as research conducted shows.

“He (Adib) could have been kicked while between the doors which could have been the blow with enough force to break of fracture his ribs,” Dr Sharom deduced.

His report, which was submitted as evidence in court today, also stated how seven fractured ribs on Muhammad Adib’s left posterior could have been caused by someone shoving the fireman into the side of the opened door, causing the vertical fractures and inflamed lungs.

“The victim died due to injuries to both his lungs caused by blunt force traumas.

“These blunt force traumas are not the result of self-inflicted injuries but due to the acts of one or more person(s),” he said while presenting his report to Coroner Rofiah Mohamad Mansor.

Dr Sharom said among the supporting factors which to his conclusion were the specific abrasions and imprints found on Adib’s right upper chest and arm, and a long bruise found on his back.

“The marks found on his body, based on my checks, matched with the imprints produced by the EMRS door striker and rubber door stopper when he was being pulled out of the van,” he explained.

He added some of bruises and imprints found on Adib’s body had only surfaced after his death, justifying it by saying some wounds would only show bruising or redness after several days and not immediately following impact.

Dr Sharom also disagreed with Syazlin on previous theories claiming the EMRS backing into Adib had caused his death.

“From videos we can see the EMRS slowed down and the force (at that speed) cannot break the ribs, meaning a force stronger than that was needed to break the posterior ribs,” he explained to Syazlin. 

He also disagreed with suggestions that Adib had suffered broken ribs from falling out of the van on his own.

The inquest into Adib’s death following riots at the Sri Maha Mariamman temples in Subang Jaya last November, will continue tomorrow at 10am.