"My son told me that he needed the cleaning job to earn extra money for his two daughters," said the mother of Mohamad Nur Syafiq Mohamad Naser, 27, one of the victims who died when he slipped and fell into a manhole in front of Angsana Mall early Monday.
Rosenah Sulaiman, 59, said Nur Syafiq , the youngest of three siblings, was doing the cleaning job for a private company on a part-time basis as he was also employed at a furniture shop at Pokok Assam, Taiping.
She said the victim had been living with her at Trong, Taiping ever since he separated from his wife one and a half years ago.
"His wife is taking care of both children, aged six and four. Until now I have not been able to contact them," she told reporters when met at the Forensic Department of Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital (HRPB) in Ipoh today.
"Nur Syafiq was a dependable, helpful son who does not like to trouble others and he would often take me out. Among my children he was the closest to me.
"I last saw him at 9.30pm last night. He complained he was tired but had to report for work as there was a shortage of staff," she said while adding her son's remains would be buried at the Trong Muslim Cemetery in Taiping.
Meanwhile, attempts by reporters to interview the second victim's wife, Siti Mariam Sukri, 38, who was present at the HRPB Forensic Department failed, as she was too distraught over the loss of her husband, Mohamad Ilaala Che Aziz, 27, from Kelantan.
Early this morning, Ipoh Fire and Rescue Station chief P. Samasuvam said two cleaners of a private company died after they slipped and fell into a manhole in front of Angsana Mall Shopping Centre in Ipoh during a cleaning process.
Earlier reports said both victims had also inhaled poisonous gas from the manhole.