Bauxite mines have seen other drowning incidents

A man stands on the verandah of an abandoned house once in a durian orchard, now mined by bauxite mining companies in Kuantan February 16, 2016. — Reuters pic
A man stands on the verandah of an abandoned house once in a durian orchard, now mined by bauxite mining companies in Kuantan February 16, 2016. — Reuters pic

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KUANTAN, Feb 5 — The drowning which took the lives of three children in a former bauxite mine in Taman Sungai Karang Jaya, Beserah, yesterday, is not the first such incident.

A similar incident occurred in October 2015, in which Nabil Ariff Shaari, 14, drowned while swimming in a pool of a bauxite mine in Ladang Makmur, Bukit Goh.

The only difference is the three children who died did not go for a swim.

It occurred when Salsabila Zuhairi, 12, fell into the pond and drowned while trying to retrieve the pants of her brother, Mohamad Aiman Hakimi, 10.

A friend, Nureen Ain Juwita Mohd Sharif, 10, and another brother, Mahathir Mohamad Zuhairi, 7, tried to help, but were swallowed by the ‘red water.’

The question is for how long will the pools left by illegal miners after the moratorium imposed by the government early last year, will continue to trap victims.

This is because there are many more pools left uncovered, making them ‘death traps’ if immediate action is not taken by the authorities.

Bernama had on January 20 last year published exclusive reports on bauxite mines that have become death traps.

Kampung Bukit Kubang Badak and Taman Satelit have 40 hectares of mining area and heaps of soil and pools up to 20 metres deep which are not covered.

Stop Bauxite Pollution People’s Movement (Geram) chairman, Ali Akbar Othman and Natural Heritage Protection Association Malaysia (Peka) president, Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil said yesterday the tragedy would not have happened if the protest by residents against bauxite mining were taken into account. — Bernama

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