Preschoolers involved in freak accident recovering well

Asiah (right) visiting Sakinah at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital here in Johor Baru. Looking on is Sakinah’s mother Noraisah Kassim.

JOHOR BARU - The five Tadika Kemas Kaisara preschoolers who were involved in a freak accident when the van they were in slid into a septic pond here on Monday are steadily recovering.

State Women and Family Committee chairman Asiah Md Ariff said the two girls and three boys were responding well to treatment at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital here.

"All of them, including the one child who was placed in the intensive care unit, have regained consciousness. However, they remain under observation as they have consumed septic water," she told pressmen yesterday after visiting the children who had been pulled out by rescuers.

She also said that the kindergarten, which has been operating for the past five years, was closed for a day as the teachers were traumatised over the incident at Taman Universiti here.

"The teachers had followed standard operation procedure of walking the children out and handing them over to their guardian, who, in this case, was the van driver," she said.

Meanwhile, five-year-old Sakinah Roslan said she was seated at the back of the vehicle before the incident.

"My friends were playing at the front passenger seat and suddenly the van started to move backwards.

"I could hear people screaming from outside and a loud bang before we landed in the pond and the water came rushing in," she said.

Johor Baru (North) OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Khamsani Abd Rahman said the police had recorded a statement from the 40-year-old female driver and would forward the investigation paper to the Deputy Public Prosecutor for further action.

During the mishap, five-year-old Muham­mad Azri Aqif, the youngest of three siblings, drowned after the van waiting to ferry the children home slid into a septic pond. He died while being rushed to a clinic.