Minister: No negligence, violation of SOP found in drowning of six firefighters

Fire and Rescue Dept personnel carry the coffins of the six firemen who died during a rescue mission last night in Shah Alam October 4, 2018. ― Picture by Mukhriz Hazim
Fire and Rescue Dept personnel carry the coffins of the six firemen who died during a rescue mission last night in Shah Alam October 4, 2018. ― Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — There is no evidence of negligence or violation of the standard operating procedure (SOP) by the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) in the drowning incident involving six firefighters at Taman Putra Perdana disused mining pond in October last year.

Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said the report from the investigation committee also concluded that the tragedy was an unexpected incident.

On October 3 last year, six firefighters — Mohd Fatah Hashim, Izatul Akma Wan Ibrahim, Mazlan Omarbaki, Yahya Ali, Adnan Othman and Muhammad Hifdzul Malik Shaari — were killed while trying to rescue a teenager who fell into the mining pool.

“They have complied with all the guidelines, similar to what they have learned and being trained before,” she said this in a press conference after on the anti-Aedes gotong royong at Taman Ampang Mewah, Ampang today.

However, Zuraida said, the accident occurred due to various factors including the lack of understanding the dynamics of low-head dam (LHD) among firefighters involved.

She said the LHD looked calm and harmless, with the depth of the water at just around the chest level but its highly powerful hydraulic had caused six firefighters to have lost their lives.

Zuraida also said the report also identified that confusion among search and rescue team members as well as the emergency response plans failed to work as planned, were among causes behind the tragedy.

Following the report, the KPKT and the relevant agencies would implement improvements to the recommendations of the committee including an integrated drowning investigation system.

Besides, a strategic collaboration between rescue agencies would also be implemented promptly to improve the effectiveness of coordination and inter-agency communication in a rescue operation.

To reduce the risk of LHD, Zuraida said the LHD structure design was being studied as well as local authorities (PBTs) were asked to install fences and warning signage to minimise incidents.

“We will also provide training for firefighters in order to increase knowledge of LHD risks and how to deal with such situation,” she said. — Bernama

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