Kuala Terengganu, June 11 — A happy outing for three women, including two sisters, at a seemingly harmless picnic spot by Sungai Lata Changkah, Ulu Seladang in Setiu, ended in grief when in a bizarre twist, they slipped down a slope and drowned this afternoon.

Setiu district police chief DSP Affandi Hussin said the victims were Syaridatul Nurfatihah Mohd Dera, 28 and her sister Syariatul Noor Safiqa Mohd Dera, 26; who hailed from Kampung Hilir Maras in Kuala Nerus while another victim, their cousin Siti Aishah Mazalan, 19, was from Kampung Mengabang Telung in Kuala Nerus.

He said it was understood that the tragedy unfolded when the trio were ending the picnic with their families at around 2.30pm when one of them slipped and fell.

“The falling victim clutched at her two companions who fell in (into the river) along with her. The public at hand jumped to the rescue before they were recovered and taken to Setiu Hospital about 45 (minutes) later.

“However, all the victims were confirmed dead at the hospital,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said investigations showed that the site of the tragedy which was sheltered and out of sight from the road, was quite sloping.

In this regard, Affandi advised the public to be more careful when picnicking by the river and to avoid risky places such as hidden spots and to be wary of strong (river) currents. — Bernama