Five feared drowned while fishing at Sungai Gasi

SUNGAI BULOH: At least five people are feared dead after being swept away by strong currents while fishing at Sungai Gasi here this evening.

The missing, comprising two women, two men and a male teenager, were from several groups of fishing enthusiasts made up of friends and families.

They had gone out to the riverbank near the Sungei Buloh army camp to fish prior to the incident at about 5.20pm.

It is learnt that about 10 people were swept away by the sudden surge of strong water currents but three of them managed to swim to safety.

Witnesses told police that the victims were seated by the riverbank and were fishing when they were caught by surprise after the water began gushing and rising rapidly.

Sungai Buloh police chief Supt S. Somu said police received three reports from the survivors whose family members and friends went missing after the incident.

"Two men reported their wives who are aged 31 and 48 were swept away. A 30-year-old man told us that his 37-year-old friend and the victim's 14-year-old son who were with him earlier were missing. A fifth person, a 30-year-old Indonesian man had also fallen victim to the tragedy after his friend informed us. We have identified five people for now but we believe there could be more as witnesses told us that there were other groups of people in the area at the time," he said.

Somu who is heading the search team said there are 60 personnel from the police, fire and rescue department, Rela, Selayang municipal council and army conducting the search for the victims.

He said firemen were also on watch at three other points further down the river namely at Paya Jaras, Saujana Utama and Kuala Selangor in case the currents carry the missing victims to the areas.

"The currents are still very strong but we will continue our search and rescue operation. We urge those who are aware of their friends and family members visiting the river and have not returned home to contact us at the soonest," Somu said at the scene of the tragedy.

He said it is believed that the gush of water and strong currents was a result of a heavy downpour in Kuala Lumpur earlier.

Somu said the Sungai Gasi river runs from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Selangor through Sungai Buloh.