JASIN: Four worshipers at Masjid Jamek Datuk Andak Kampung Serkam Pantai escaped unhurt early today when fragments of concrete from the top of the minaret fell into the main prayer hall of the 169-year-old mosque believed to be due to lightning.

Speaking to reporters here today, the mosque committee’s deputy chairman Zakaria Abu Bakar said that during the 6.45 am incident, he was still in the prayer hall with the imam and a few others as 30 other pilgrims had left after performing the Subuh prayers.

“At the time, we heard a very strong thunder and the electricity got tripped. We also felt a little tremor but only became aware of the incident after rainwater began pouring in from a hole in the roof caused by the incident.

“We found several pieces of concrete, one of which weighed about 1.5 kg as well as many small stone fragments on the floor,“ he said, adding that he was grateful there were no injuries inflicted during the incident.

He also thanked the Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia (JBPM), Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), representatives of the Chief Minister’s office and others who had come to look at the mosque’s condition.

In the meantime, he hoped that relevant parties such as the Malacca Museums Corporation (PERZIM) and the Heritage Department would assess the safety of the structure for subsequent repair as the mosque was gazetted as an Old Historic Land Monument under the Antiquities Act No. 168/1976 on March 27, 1980.

Meanwhile, Mohd Sufian Hashim, 43, who lived nearby the mosque said he happened to see the incident through the window of his house after Subuh prayers today.

“I heard a very loud sound and the second time (it happened) I saw from a distance lightning striking at the top of the mosque’s minaret which caused sparks and some smoke,“ he said. - Bernama