(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

PETALING JAYA (The Star/Asia News Network) – The fire at a religious school in Kuala Lumpur was three times as saddening for Mrs Mashawani Mohamed Shahid.

The 29-year-old widow lost her three sons, Muhammad Syafid Haikal, 13, Muhammad Hafiz Iskandar, 11, and Muhammad Harris Ikhwan, 10, in the blaze.

Ms Rosnani Mohd Nor, a cousin of Mrs Mashawani, told The Star she only discovered that her nephews were among the victims after their bodies were sent to Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

“Our family is grieving, especially the mother,” she said, adding that the boys’ father died eight years ago.

Ms Rosnani, who was still in shock, came to Hospital Kuala Lumpur to be with Mrs Mashawani.

“I haven’t seen her yet. I hope she will stay strong through this trial,” she added.

Another family member of the three brothers who died in the Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah fire expressed their regrets in not taking them home after receiving a call from one of the victims on Thursday.

A cousin of the victims, Ms Mas Aliza Ali Bapoo, 22, said Hafiz Iskandar had called a few days ago to say he wanted to come home for holidays.

“We planned to take the three of them on Saturday but did not expect all of them would perish today, we are  too shocked. I feel the pain most, as I am the one handling their transport to and from the tahfiz school since they began studying there in January,” said Ms Mas Aliza.

Outside the mortuary of the hospital, Ms Hamidah Mohamed Ibrahim cut a sorrowful figure.

The 63-year-old said she had lost a child she regarded as her own flesh and blood, just days after another loved one had died.

“He was too young. They were all too young. I know this is God’s will and I keep trying to remind myself of that. But it is difficult because this is really not an age to die. They had their whole lives ahead of them,” she sobbed.

Ms Hamidah lost her composure after she saw the first batch of bodies being taken into the forensic unit for DNA testing procedures.

Wiping her eyes with tissue paper, she lamented that it was too painful for her to bear.

“What will the parents be going through? No one should have to lose a child like this,” she said as she was led away by a friend.

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