KUALA BERANG, May 28 — “Usually it was I who would carry the remains of somebody; unexpectedly this time, three bodies of my children arrived at the house at the same time. I cannot bring myself to drive them to the burial site; let others drive (the hearse),” said Mohd Ismail, 64.
The father to the three brothers who drowned in Sungai Terengganu, near Kampung Teluk Telemong yesterday said he has been a hearse driver for four years and never imagined having to face this big trial.
“However, I accept Allah’s will. I am very grateful that Allah has eased the search and rescue operation.
“Insya Allah, death due to drowning is syahid kecil (martyr)... all three were the family’s hopes. They liked to help others and respected the elders. Maybe their good deeds had caused Allah to ease matters for them,” he told reporters today.
He thanked Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar and others who came to pay their last respects and help with the burial, which was expected to be held after Asar prayer at the Alor Limbat burial site in Marang.
Meanwhile, the death Khalif Naim Mohd, 16, was seen as a huge loss to Sekolah Menengah Imtiaz Yayasan Terengganu Kuala Berang, as he was described as a smart and well-mannered student.
The school’s Quran teacher, Mohd Sidik Hassan, said Khalif Naim respected the teachers, was well liked by friends and good at memorising the Quran.
“He had just finished memorising 30 chapters of Al-Quran on March 10. He was a good student and easy to talk to... let’s pray for his soul to be blessed and placed among the righteous,” he said when contacted by Bernama here.
Khalif Naim and his brothers, Umar Iskandar, 21, and Khairil Firdaus, 17, drowned while bathing in the river, situated only 200 metres from their house, at 6 pm yesterday.
Khairil Firdaus was a Form Five student of Sekolah Agama Mahmudiah, Kuala Berang, while Umar Iskandar was a University Malaya student.
Meanwhile, Terengganu Fire and Rescue Department director Md Hilman Abd Rashid said yesterday’s drownings were the 13th incident in Terengganu this year.
“Most drowning cases happened because the victims were not used to the local environment, similar to the three brothers who were not used to bathing there. Possible causes included being trapped by quicksand, mud and the like.
“I advise the people to be always careful when going to recreation places such as rivers and beaches. Accidents and injuries can occur unexpectedly,” he said. — Bernama