Divers in mining pond tragedy got stuck in ‘whirlpool’, say cops

Sepang district police chief ACP Abdul Aziz Ali speaks to the media at the scene of the tragedy last night. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Police say the six divers from the Fire and Rescue Department’s Water Rescue Unit who died while searching for a teenager who fell into a disused mining pool in Puchong yesterday were caught in a strong “whirlpool”.

Sepang district police chief ACP Abdul Aziz Ali said the divers had followed standard operating procedures in donning complete diving equipment, and were tied to a single rope.

He said the unit went down to the pond at 9.15pm last night to search for the 17-year-old boy who was feared drowned after slipping and falling into the water while fishing with his friends.

“Suddenly, a strong current occurred in the area causing the victims to spin in the water while all their equipment came off,” he told reporters when met at the scene.

He said the victims had struggled in the water for about 30 minutes while other personnel tried to rescue them. They were all unconscious by the time they were pulled out of the water.

Abdul Aziz said the medical team at the scene had tried to save the victims by performing CPR, but to no avail.

The search and rescue operation to locate the teenager resumed at 7.30am today with a team from the Port Klang Marine Operations Force.

Four of the divers who died were from the Port Klang fire and rescue station: Mohd Fatah Hashim, 34; Izatul Akma Wan Ibrahim, 32; Mazlan Omarbaki, 25; and Yahya Ali, 24.

The other two – Adnan Othman, 33; and Muhammad Hifdzul Malik Shaari, 25 – were from the Shah Alam station.