Man who tried to save drowning victims still missing

Man who tried to save drowning victims still missing

PADANG TERAP - Single mother Siti Hawa Mat Jiwa's two daughters drowned during a camping trip at Pedu Lake here yesterday.

Another girl also drowned, while a neighbour remains missing.

Siti Hawa broke down and collapsed when rescuers fished out the body of her 13-year-old daughter, Siti Afliana Yahya, an hour after the girls were swept away by currents at 9.30am.

The body of her elder daughter Siti Nor Hazliza, 16, was found together with that of their neighbour, Siti Hajar Azmi, 12.

Another neighbour, Karim Taufik, 36, who had tried to save the girls, is still missing.

Siti Hawa, 53, her two daughters and son Mohd Fikri , 11, were among 23 people from four families from Kampung Bukit Lada, who had camped by the lake since Friday.

Siti Hajar's father Azmi Bakar, 52, said his daughter and the two sisters were taking a dip when they were swept away.

"I took my eyes off them for just a few minutes to help my neighbours fix their tent.

"The next thing I saw was my daughter and her friends struggling and waving frantically 150m away from where they were playing."

Fikri said he was with his neighbours on a pontoon when he saw his sisters and Siti Hajar waving and calling for help 100m away.

Karim, who was also on the pontoon, jumped into the lake to save the trio. However, he was swept away.

Padang Terap district police deputy chief Assistant Superintendent Chang Kut Choy said a search-and-rescue team, involving the police, firemen and villagers was mounted at 10.30am.

"The body of the first victim was found floating at 2km away."

He said they had sought the assistance of divers from Sungai Petani Fire and Rescue Department.

The search was called off at 7pm and will resume this morning.

The victims' bodies were sent to Kuala Nerang Hospital and later brought to Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Star for a post-mortem.

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