Published: Thursday March 21, 2013 MYT 2:12:00 PM
Updated: Thursday March 21, 2013 MYT 7:03:57 PM
Explosion in VC's room causes fire at UMT, three firemen injured
By JOSEPH KAOS
KUALA TERENGGANU: Three firefighters were injured after a roof collapsed on them while battling a blaze at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) here on Thursday.
The fire to the university's Chancellery building was believed to have originated from Vice-Chancellor Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Ibrahim Komoo's room on the third floor.
Eight officers were putting out fire at around noon when the roof collapsed on them.
“When the roof's supporting beam collapsed, the entire roof fell along with it.
“One of our men was hit by a piece of the roof. Two other officers sustained minor scratches and are not seriously hurt,” said Terengganu Fire and Rescue Department director Md Salleh Sarbini.
The injured men were immediately sent to the Sultanah Nur Zahirah hospital here to be treated.
It is believed that the fire could have been caused by an air-conditioner unit in the vice-chancellor's room which exploded.
The third floor is said to be extensively damaged by the fire.
A witness, who was at the second floor during the incident, said the fire alarm went off but many thought it was a test and did not react.
“I did not think much about it until I heard my colleagues screaming asking everyone to leave. When we assembled outside, I saw smoke billowing out of the third floor and I heard the sound of an explosion,” said Lailatul Akmal Abdul Rahman, 29.
Besides the vice-chancellor's room, a meeting room, a file room and two officers room were damaged.
The vice-chancellor is currently in Australia for a working visit.
Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Prof Dr Mohd Effendi Abdul Wahid said staff were not allowed to access the third floor and did not rule out the possibility that the university's important files and documents were destroyed in the fire.