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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Victims say loud explosion similar to that ‘heard in action films’



SUBANG JAYA: “I thought I had died”. That was what went through Daryl Chua's mind just moments after he and his girlfriend were blown off their feet following the explosion at the Empire Shopping Gallery.
The 27-year-old car salesman from Sri Hartamas and his girlfriend Hibbie Tan, 23, were walking towards the autopay machine after having coffee at a ground floor cafe when the explosion occurred.
“As we were walking to pay our parking ticket, we heard a loud explosion like those in action movies and we were thrown a few metres away,” he said yesterday.
When Chua regained composure moments later, he said he heard security alarms ringing, glass and windows shattering and beams cracking and collapsing all around him.
He noted that many drain covers had popped out.
“My first thought was that the mall had been bombed.
“Thankfully none of the debris fell on us.
“When I picked myself up, I noticed I had cuts and bruises on my hands and arms.
“My girlfriend sprained her ankle. She also had scratches and bruises on her leg and thighs,” he said, adding that he had to carry her to safety.
Both were sent to University Malaya Medical Centre for outpatient treatment.
They, however, returned to the scene later to inspect their cars that were parked on the ground floor parking area. Both cars were damaged.
The explosion, which could be heard for kilometres in Subang Jaya, also shook houses in the area.
SS17 resident Galvin Tan, 35, was watching the Champions League match between Manchester United and FC Basel when he heard the blast and the tremors shook some items in his house.
He was shocked but immediately updated his Twitter, asking if anyone else had heard the blast.
The Asian Football Confederation photographer then called the SS17 police station, grabbed his camera and left his house within 10 minutes to locate the source.
At the scene, he took photos and updated his Twitter account.
Tan left for home at about 7am to update his blog (http://blog.galvintan.com/) with a lengthy description of the incident. He returned to the scene again at 10am for more updates.
As at 6pm yesterday, his Twitter post was shared by almost 200 users and had attracted close to 1,000 “likes” on Facebook.
Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh said Tan alerted her when the explosion happened.
“I called the police and was told that they are aware of the blast,” she said.
Yeoh went to the site shortly after and stayed there until 5am.

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