JOHOR BARU - A holiday outing by a family of 10 ended in tragedy when four of them, including two toddlers, drowned when the raft they were travelling on capsized at a river in Batu Pahat.
The incident took place at around 3pm on Boxing Day while they were crossing the 50m-wide Sungai Bekok next to the Yong Peng mosque to visit a goat farm.
The dead were Lana Ismail, 55, her nephew Aiman Haraddin, 10, and her two grandchildren Muhammad Iman Naqiudin Nas Izhar, two, and his 10-month-old brother Muhammad Ikhwan Nasaruddin.
The toddlers were believed to be the children of a police officer from the Kajang district police headquarters in Selangor.
The six who survived the tragedy were Hairaddin Masran, 58, Nor Diana Alias Hairaddin, 31, Ali Abdul Rahman Hairaddin, 28, Junaidah Yang, 28, Siti Farahida Hairaddin, 28, and two-year-old Muhammad Ali An-naqi Abdul Rahman.
Police said the raft was believed to have been pushed by strong currents before it capsized in the middle of the river during the crossing.
"We believe the raft was overloaded at the time of the tragedy as it could only accommodate three adults at one time," said Batu Pahat OCPD Deputy Chief Supt Mender Singh.
He added that the group had earlier attended a wedding ceremony at Taman JPN Yong Peng and decided to visit the goat farm.
The bodies have been sent to the Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital in Batu Pahat for a post-mortem.
Relatives who rushed to the scene of the incident and the family members were too distraught to speak when met by reporters.