GEORGE TOWN, Penang: The charred remains of an eight-year-old boy was found inside a container at a playground in George Town, Penang on Sunday (Jan 13).
The container, which stored old furniture, was used by children who played in it, local reports said, citing the police and fire department.
Bayan Lepas Fire and Rescue Station head Mohd Tarmizi Abdul Salam said the station received a call at 12.15pm. The fire was already raging when rescue personnel arrived at the location, he said.
“Firemen were informed that a boy was trapped inside the container and the body of Muhammad Saifuddin Ali Subahan, 8, was found charred after we put out the fire,” he told reporters at the scene.
Saifuddin’s charred remains were found in a sitting position in a corner of the container, the New Straits Times reported.
He sustained 100 per cent burns, added Bayan Baru Fire and Rescue Department operations officer Marziaddi Mahmud.
Marziaddi said information from eyewitnesses showed that the container, which was not locked, was used by children to play inside.
Southwest District police chief Supt A A Anbalagan said that initial investigations and an eyewitness, whose hair caught fire in the incident, suggested the boy had been playing with a lighter moments before a fire broke out on a sofa.
“All of a sudden, fire engulfed the container, and the victim was trapped inside. About 80 per cent of the container was destroyed in the fire,” the New Straits Times cited Anbalan as saying.
He added that no criminal elements have been found so far and that the case has been classified as sudden death while further investigations were still being carried out.
Saifuddin’s remains have been sent to Penang Hospital for postmortem.
The New Straits Times reported that Saifuddin was the third of four siblings. He is expected to be buried at the Jalan Perak Muslim cemetery on Sunday night.