Terrifying moment for 20-year-old who fell into 'bottomless' pit

Terrifying moment for 20-year-old who fell into 'bottomless' pit
Deep trouble: The uncovered manhole that the man fell into in Section 14, Petaling Jaya. The victim was not seriously injured but his mother claimed that the outcome could have been different if a child had fallen in.

PETALING JAYA - A 20-year-old man had a frightful experience when he fell into an uncovered manhole near Masjid Tun Abdul Aziz in Section 14 here recently.

Although he escaped with only slight injuries, it was nonetheless a terrifying moment for him, according to his mother Lily Tajuddin.

"My son claimed he could not feel the ground when he fell, which indicated how deep the hole must be," she said.

"Thankfully, he was not badly hurt," she said, adding that her son only sustained minor bumps and grazes on his body.

"It can happen to anybody, and the consequences will be worse for a small child," she said.

Lily was expressing her concern over the danger of uncovered manholes following The Star's front page report titled "Death traps on the streets" yesterday.

The issue came to light after a four-year-old boy, Law Bin Jian, drowned after falling into an exposed manhole in SJK(C) Pei Min in Maran, Pahang, where his mother worked as a canteen helper, on Tuesday.

The incident was one of a series of accidents - some of which were fatal - related to unco­vered manholes over the years.

Meanwhile, Shah Alam City Council corporate communications deputy director Shahrin Ahmad said they had received numerous complaints of a similar problem over the years from residents.

"We get complaints very often of drain co­vers being stolen, especially at older housing areas where most of the covers are made of steel," said Shahrin when contacted.

He added that housing areas such as Sec­tions 31, 32 and 33 in Shah Alam were prone to such cases lately.

The council, he said, had since replaced uncovered manholes and drains with concrete slabs.

"Concrete slabs have no market value and last longer, so we are gradually replacing drain covers with these," he said.

Developers for new townships in Shah Alam have also been told to use concrete slabs for their drains and manholes instead of steel to prevent theft and vandalism.

Petaling Jaya City Council spent RM475,627.10 (S$177,513) last year to replace missing manhole and drain covers with precast concrete grating covers, said deputy mayor Puasa Md Taib.

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