KUALA LUMPUR - A petty argument between a husband and wife over the telephone cost them dearly - the life of their six-year-old daughter.
The husband, who identified himself as Musa, said he had returned to his apartment in Taman Connaught at about 2pm to find his wife and two daughters missing.
"I called my wife on her mobile phone and asked her where she was.
"She said she had taken the children out shopping with a friend. I asked her why she hadn't told me about it, and asked where she was so I could pick her up. But she said she would take a bus back," he said.
As they spoke, Nurhayada Sofia got near an escalator on the second floor of the Kenanga Wholesale City mall in Pudu.
Nurhayada's five-year-old sister was still with her mother.
Nurhayada was said to have tried to climb over the escalator when she slipped and fell five floors to the basement through a gap.
"We were still arguing when I heard a commotion and the line was cut," Musa recalled at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur mortuary.
"Minutes later, my wife called back to say that Nurhayada was dead. I just couldn't believe it."
Nurhayada died due to severe injuries to the head.
However, a video of the incident that went viral showed a girl resembling Nurhayada playing near the escalator with her sister and her mother standing next to her.
Outside the mortuary, Musa's wife was inconsolable. "I made a mistake and my daughter is dead," she cried.
KL Fire and Rescue Department director Khiruddin Drahman said: "Investigations are ongoing. We will check whether the mall has adhered to safety regulations."
KL CID chief Senior Asst Comm Zainuddin Ahmad said the police suspected no foul play and had classified the case as sudden death.
A mall spokesman said it was handling the incident with utmost importance.
"We are assisting the authorities in their investigation in every way possible," she said.
Nurhayada is expected to be buried in her father's hometown in Muar.