Boy survives as four girls are swept away at park
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.