Girl crying for Twin Otter victim mum

Ridzuan (left) comforting Norfilzah while Mohd Raiyan greets Hishammuddin during the minister's visit to the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.

KOTA KINABALU - A little girl screams at night for her mum, while her dad worries about his wife who is at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital here after the Twin Otter crash in Kudat on Thursday.

At only 18 months, Norfilzah Rowdah is too young to understand that her mother is at the hospital's intensive care unit for a spinal injury.

"It may be due to the trauma of the accident, but I think she's missing her mother," said the father, Ridzuan Binting.

Fauziah Pelimin was flung about four seats away from the child in the MASwings tragedy that killed co-pilot Marc Joel Bansh, 22, and 69-year-old passenger Tan Ah Chai.

She struggled to her feet and found Norfilzah, still in her seat, and rushed her out of the aircraft.

In the meantime, her four-year-old son Mohd Raiyan Fatmi was picked by other passengers who pulled him out safely.

"My wife did not realise her back was injured until she had gotten Norfilzah out of the plane," Ridzuan, an education officer in Lahad Datu, said during acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein's visit to the hospital yesterday.

Ridzuan, 31, said his family were on their way to Sandakan to visit her family when the tragedy struck.

Hishammuddin called on Fauziah and another patient, Sue Isabella Abbal, at the ICU.

He later visited the aircraft's pilot Capt Wan Mohd Abdul Amir Wan Yahya and passengers Nurnazwin Sharom, 29, from Sandakan, and Merang Muharrain, 52, from Kudat.

Speaking to reporters later, Hishammuddin said a complete plan on safety requirements should be in place at all airports in the country.

Asked about complaints by pilots that the Kota Kinabalu International Airport does not have the Instrument Landing System to enable safe landings in bad weather, he said: "We will look at the Kudat airport first and then other airports in Sabah and Sarawak."

Hishammuddin, who is also Defence Minister, said MASwings would be replacing its four Twin Otter aircraft with the Viking version. The new craft is equipped with proper avionics (electrical and electronic devices in aviation) that are more efficient for rural airports.

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