SERDANG, Oct 4 (Bernama) — The tragedy of six divers of the Fire and Rescue Department (JPBM) Water Rescue Unit (PPDA) who drowned during a search and rescue operation (SAR) last night is the first in the history of the department involving a unit of its personnel killed at one time.
JPBM director-general Mohammad Hamdan Wahid when met at Serdang Hospital here said that before this SAR operation, there were few fatal incidents involving firemen.
“This is the first time (six personnel died). There was one previous case when we lost two members of the department.
“We carried out CPR but could not save them and this is a very sad day for us. One which involved so many of our employees,” he said.
Six PPDA divers died when conducting an SAR operation at 9.15pm yesterday for a teenager who fell into a disused mining pool at Taman Putra Perdana , Puchong near here and was feared drowned.
Mohammad Hamdan said JBPM would look at every aspect of the welfare of the families of the victims including in terms of compensation and insurance.
He said the Serdang Hospital Forensic Department was currently carrying out post-mortems on all victims.
He said after the completion of the post-mortems, all the remains would be taken to the Shah Alam Fire and Rescue station for the final tribute before being taken home to their respective hometowns for burial.
The six divers who drowned were identified as Mohd Fatah Hashim, 34; Izatul Akma Wan Ibrahim, 32; Mazlan Omarbaki, 25, and Yahya Ali, 24, from the Water Rescue Team (PPDA) of the Port Klang Fire and Rescue station.
The other two victims, identified as Adnan Othman, 33, and Muhammad Hifdzul Malik Shaari, 25, were members of PPDA team from the Shah Alam Fire and Rescue station.
He said the victims hailed from Sibu, Sarawak: Tawau, Sabah; Kelantan; Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan and from Shah Alam, Selangor.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin and Balakong assemblyman Wong Siew Ki were also at the hospital to comfort the family members of the victims.
Meanwhile, Shamiza Salleh, 32, the wife of Adnan Othman, said she received a call on the tragedy at 11 pm.
“I was informed about what happened by his friend (Adnan’s). I was at home then,” she said.
She broke down after that and was unable to say any thing more.
This morning, more than 500 people attended the funeral prayers for the six victims at the Section 15 Fire and Rescue Station today.
Family members, fire and rescue personnel, senior government officers and several leaders attended the prayers held at about 9 am.
They included Selangor state executive councillor and Seri Serdang assemblyman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud; Housing and Local Government Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek; Fire and Rescue Department director-general Mohamad Hamdan Wahid and former Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar.
The funeral prayers were led by Mohd Luqman Ramli, superintendent of the Religious Unit at the Putrajaya Fire and Rescue Service headquarters. – Bernama