Boy sur­vives as four girls are swept away at park

The Star Malaysia - - Nation - By G.C.TAN

LANGKAWI: The au­thor­i­ties have re­cov­ered the bod­ies of all four girls who were swept down­stream by a sud­den surge of wa­ter at a wa­ter­fall in the Lubuk Semi­lang Recre­ational Park here.

A teenage boy cheated death af­ter some rocks and drift­wood stopped him from be­ing swept away be­fore he was rescued by by­standers in the Thurs­day in­ci­dent.

Langkawi district deputy po­lice chief Deputy Supt Ma­hani Mo­hamed said they first re­ceived in­for­ma­tion about chil­dren be­ing swept away at 5.10pm on Thurs­day.

Ac­cord­ing to ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tions, she said there were sev­eral groups of vis­i­tors pic­nick­ing in the area when a del­uge of wa­ter from up­stream swept the vic­tims away.

“How­ever, the boy was rescued by the pub­lic af­ter he got stuck be­tween some rocks and wood,” she said, adding that the 15-year-old suf­fered bruises on his leg.

DSP Ma­hani said a search and res­cue op­er­a­tion was launched, in­volv­ing per­son­nel from the Fire and Res­cue De­part­ment, the Civil De­fence and vil­lagers.

She said the body of Qistina Puteri Wira, 12, was found some 800m down­stream from the area at 5.30pm.

State Fire and Res­cue De­part­ment pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer Supt Mo­hamad Mus­takim Mukhtar said the body of the sec­ond vic­tim, Nur Iman Wa­heeda Mohd Basri, 11, was found at about 12.45am yes­ter­day.

The body of the third vic­tim, Anis Sati­rah Saad, 12, was found the same day at 11.45am.

Siti Aisyah “The fourth vic­tim, Kas­sim,

five, was found at about 4.26pm near the Bukit Kem­boja surau, some 7km from the lo­ca­tion where she was swept away,” he said, adding that the search and res­cue op­er­a­tion ended at 5.30pm.

Kedah Fire and Res­cue De­part­ment direc­tor Ab­dul Razak Muda said the tragedy could have been avoided if the pub­lic had learnt from pre­vi­ously re­ported cases.

“Don’t be a vic­tim, al­though it does not rain here for a few days, it may be rain­ing up­stream and on the hill tops,” he said.

On Wed­nes­day, Dr Amar Singh of Perak Clin­i­cal Re­search Cen­tre was quoted as say­ing that every year, the coun­try recorded 700 drown­ing cases, of which 500 in­volved chil­dren aged be­tween one and 18.

Dr Amar, who is also head of the pae­di­atric unit at Raja Per­maisuri Bainun Hos­pi­tal in Ipoh, had said that 31 chil­dren, aged be­tween two and nine, drowned in ho­tel and theme park swim­ming pools be­tween Jan­uary and Septem­ber.

He said one of the main prob­lems was chil­dren try­ing to save oth­ers from drown­ing.

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