Divers retrieve Jane Doe from submerged car

Tragic end: Fire and Rescue Department personnel recovering the body of a driver whose car plunged into the Sarawak River in Kuching. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: The body of an unidentified woman, who was in a car that plunged into Sungai Sarawak near the Satok Suspension Bridge, has been removed from the vehicle.

Two divers from the Batu Lintang Fire and Rescue Station managed to retrieve the body at 1pm yesterday after locating the car driven by the victim.

The state Fire and Rescue Department’s operations centre received a distress call at about 10.30am yesterday but the caller could not confirm the number of victims in the vehicle.

As many as 14 firefighters and rescuers from the Padungan Fire Station were deployed to the scene upon receiving the call.

A video showing a silver-coloured car partially submerged in the water and a boat with two individuals approaching the vehicle to rescue the victim has since gone viral on social media.

One of the men on the boat, when met at the scene, said he saw the vehicle floating while cleaning garbage in the river.

The man, who introduced himself as Bonnie, said he and his friend rushed to rescue the victim in the vehicle but failed as all four doors were locked from the inside.

“I only saw the victim giving a signal forbidding me to help, I also could not do anything because there was no tool to break the car window.

“We tried to tow the vehicle using a rope but the rope gave way and we could only watch the vehicle sinking, ” he said.

Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department head Supt Alexson Naga Chabu, when contacted by Bernama, said the police were seeking information regarding the incident.

Meanwhile, in Pasir Mas, Kelantan, a smuggler escaped death after his car plunged into a river near Kampung Slow Machang in a bid to evade arrest.

District Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry chief enforcement officer Suhaimi Abas said the car driven by the 28-year-old man was stopped for a check by the personnel from the ministry and marine police at 2.30pm yesterday.

“During inspection, the driver suddenly reversed his car before it plunged into a 2m-deep river. He managed to swim to the riverbank before being detained.

“About 834kg of cooking oil meant to be smuggled into a neighbouring country was seized from the vehicle, ” he said.

The Ops Benteng seizure was worth RM6,085.

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