Toddler drowns after straying from car parked near river

Toddler drowns after straying from car parked near river

KUANTAN: A family outing ended in tragedy when a 20-month-old boy strayed from their car which was parked in an oil palm plantation before falling into Sungai Felda Jengka 4 in Maran yesterday.

Maran district police chief DSP Norzamri Abd Rahman said the body of Muhammad Abdullah Saiful Bahari was found trapped among some tree branches in the river by villagers at about 10.30 am today.

The place was about 1.2 km from where the boy was believed to have fallen into the river, he said when contacted today.

He said the boy’s father had left him inside the car together with his six-year-old sister and eight-year-old brother at about 12.45 pm yesterday.”The father claimed that he left them in the car with the doors open.

On realising the toddler has gone missing about 15 minutes later, he asked the two elder siblings about the boy but they also did not know where he had gone to,” he said.

The car was parked in an empty space near the river, about three kilometres from the main road.

Norzamri said police, firemen and Rela volunteers had mounted a search for the boy after being informed of his disappearance.

The boy’s father, Saiful Bahari Md Isa, 46, said it was normal of him to bring his children to the plantation as he was building a hut there.”My heart sank when I realised that he was no longer in the car,” he told Bernama at the Hospital Jengka forensic unit here today.

Saiful Bahari said he immediately started searching for his youngest son but suspected that he might have fallen into the river on seeing the footprints of a toddler near the banks.

“I sought the help of friends to look for him. I also dove into the river several times to look for my son but to no avail,” he added.

Saiful Bahari said his car was parked just about 10 steps away from where he was erecting the hut.– BERNAMA