Zuraida: Firemen drowning not due to negligence

  • Nation
  • Monday, 15 Apr 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no evidence of negligence or violation of the standard operating procedure (SOP) by the Fire and Rescue Depar­tment in the drowning incident inv­o­lving six firefighters at a disused mining pond in October last year.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin (pic) said a report from the investigation committee concluded that the tragedy was an unexpected incident.

On Oct 3 last year, six firefighters – Mohd Fatah Hashim, Izatul Akma Wan Ibrahim, Mazlan Omarbaki, Yahya Ali, Adnan Othman and Muhammad Hifdzul Malik Shaari – were killed while trying to rescue a teenager who fell into the mining pool in Taman Putra Perdana.

“They have complied with all the guidelines, similar to what they have learned and being trained before,” she told reporters after an anti-Aedes gotong royong here yesterday.

However, Zuraida said the accident occurred due to various factors including a lack of understanding of the dynamics of low-head dam (LHD) among the firefighters involved.

She said the LHD looked calm and harmless, with the depth of the water at just around the chest level but it was a highly powerful hydraulic had caused six firefighters to lose their lives.

The report, she said, also identified the causes of the tragedy, such as there being confusion among the search and rescue team members as well as the failure of emergency response plans to work as planned.

Following the report the ministry and the relevant agencies would implement improvements based on the recommendations of the committee including having an integrated drowning investigation system.

In addition, a strategic collaboration between rescue agencies would also be implemented promptly to improve the effectiveness of coordination and inter-agency communication in a rescue operation.

To reduce the risk of LHD, Zuraida said the LHD structure design was being studied.

Local authorities were asked to install fences and warning signs to minimise incidents.

“We will also provide training for firefighters in order to increase their knowledge of LHD risks and how to deal with such situation,” she said. — Bernama

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