KOTA KINABALU: A valiant effort by two children to save a relative who had fallen into a drainage ditch ended in tragedy when all three girls drowned near the Kota Kinabalu International Airport here.
The girls, aged five to 12, were playing on the edge of the ditch at Kampung Bunga Raya in Kepayan when one of them slipped and fell in.
City police chief Asst Comm Mohd Zaidi Abdullah said the two other girls quickly jumped in to rescue their relative at about 2.30pm on Monday (May 23).
"But because they did not know how to swim, all three drowned," he said when contacted on Wednesday (May 25).
He said a teenage boy who happened to be in the location saw the incident and pulled the girls out.
The children were later rushed to Hospital Queen Elizabeth II in an ambulance and private car.
Unfortunately, he said, the girls were pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
ACP Mohd Zaidi said the girls were related and lived close to each other in the village.
He added that the 5m-wide ditch, where the water was up to 2m deep, was in a secluded area about 200m from the village.
"Investigations are still being carried out," he said, adding that the matter had been classified as a sudden death report.