KUCHING: Abdullah Kassim was on his way home with his son-in-law last Saturday night when they saw a car overturning into a monsoon drain.
Without thinking further, Abdullah jumped into the 2m-deep drain to try to help the people in the car.
“I did not stop to think if there might be snakes or anything. My only thought was to rescue the victims.
“I couldn’t do it on my own, so I asked other people who were at the scene to come and help too,” he said.
Abdullah and his son-in-law Muhammad Hafuzulharomain Joblee were among nine people, including two Grab riders, who rescued the family of four before firemen arrived at the scene in Jalan Camar, Petra Jaya here.
The accident is believed to have occurred when the driver tried to avoid another vehicle that was exiting a junction.
“We managed to lift the car a little and open one of the doors. I could hear children crying ‘tolong, tolong’ (help, help),” Abdullah said.
The rescuers managed to free two children first before bringing out the father and finally the mother.When the firemen arrived minutes later, all four victims had been safely rescued with light injuries.
They were attended to by the emergency rescue medics before being sent to hospital.
Grab rider Khairul Izwan Sidek stopped at the scene when he saw a fellow delivery rider by the roadside.
“He told me about the accident and that there was one more victim in the car. I took off my helmet and jumped into the drain to help.
“By that time, three of the victims had already been brought out,” he said.
Suzana Drahman also saw the accident on the way home with her husband Jamal Ahmad and immediately turned back to help.
“My husband helped with the rescue while I called bomba. I also stopped other passing drivers to get them to help out,” she said.
The rescuers received a certificate of appreciation from the department in recognition of their heroic action.
State Fire and Rescue Department director Khirudin Drahman said their prompt response within the first five minutes of the accident helped to save four lives.
“The first five minutes are the most important to reduce the impact in an emergency.
“By acting as first responders, these nine people prevented the situation from turning tragic,” he said.