Friday, October 02, 2009

Earthquake tosses Naked businessman into pool; he survives, Hotel destroyed

The powerful earthquake that struck this West Sumatra city two days ago tossed a Malaysian businessman into the hotel’s swimming pool and then destroyed the hotel.

He emerged naked but alive.

A still visibly exhausted Wong Lee Kwong, 52, said he had registered at the Ambacang Hotel 30 minutes before the quake struck.

"I was preparing to take a bath and had just a towel on when suddenly the hotel building shook, tilted and collapsed," said Wong who was on the fourth floor.

"The floor fell to the left and I was thrown into the swimming pool," he said when met at the Minangkabau International Airport near here.

Wong, who had scratches on his back due to falling concrete, came out of the pool naked.

Amid the screams, confusion and mayhem, a hotel employee gave him clothing and helped him to safety in an open area.

"I was indeed lucky that people helped me. Otherwise, I do not know what would have happened to me," said Wong, who was grateful to be allowed to take a Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) flight to Malaysia this morning.

A family that was holidaying in the area also related their ordeal when the 7.6magnitude earthquake struck.

Badrulamin Mohd Sharif, 30, from Kuala Lumpur said he, his wife, two daughters, mother-in-law, and two sisters-in-law had been in the area holidaying since Thursday last week.

"While we were shopping at the Bukit Tinggi market complex, the building suddenly shook and people ran out shouting 'earthquake'," he said. Alarmed, he quickly led his family to an open space about 100m away.

"Thank God, we were safe and not injured. After getting information from Malaysian embassy staff here we were allowed to go home with Malaysian students," he said.

Badrulamin and family got on a RMAF aircraft at about 6am Friday.

Source : STAR
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