KOTA KINABALU: It was a case of trying to rescue a friend that led to three children drowning in a pond at a construction site in Sabah's northern Kudat district.
In the incident on Thursday (Dec 7), two boys – Mohd Syahwan, seven, and Wan Hermi, 11 – and a girl identified as Nurul Isah, 11, drowned in a pool dug for construction purposes at Kampung Perpaduan Ria 1.
Kudat police chief Supt Mohd Haris Ibrahim said the friends had initially gone to the pool with several other children for a swim.
He said the youngest was believed to be the first to jump into the pool but failed to resurface.
“This prompted the other two to jump in, one after the other, to rescue their friend (but they) also failed to return to the surface,” he said when contacted on Friday (Dec 8).
“This sent their other friends there running back to tell their parents what happened,” he added.
Supt Mohd Haris said the villagers then rushed to the site.
“They dived in and found the three friends unconscious at the bottom.
“The victims were later pronounced dead at the Kudat district hospital,” he said.
He advised the public not to speculate on the incident and to be mindful of anything they post on social media out of consideration for the families.
“Let the police probe the matter,” Supt Mohd Haris said, adding that the matter had been classified as sudden death for now.
Kudat Fire and Rescue Services station chief Ishak Jabas said they received a distress call at 5.36pm on Thursday.
He said a team of firemen and an Emergency Medical Response Services (EMRS) unit rushed to the scene.
The three victims had already been brought out of the pond when the team arrived, he added.