Six rescue divers drown in Malaysia after being caught in whirlpool as they searched for teen

The men drowned on Wednesday after a strong current gushed into the search area in the central Malaysian town of Puchong. According to Sepang Assistant Commissioner Abdul Aziz Ali, initial investigations found the group of divers had been in the water searching for the 17-year-old teenager for nearly five minutes when the tragedy started to unfold.

Heavy rain in the area earlier raised water levels in the pool and resulted in strong undercurrents. The rescuers formed a human chain and tied themselves together with rope to buoys.

“Suddenly, a strong current came gushing into the area causing them to be dragged further down and got tangled by the rope that connected them,” Ali said, the New Strait Times reported.

The victims were identified as: Mohd Fatah Hashim, 34, Izatul Akma Wan Ibrahim, 32, Mazlan Omarbaki, 25, Yahya Ali, 24, Adnan Othman, 33, and Muhammad Hifdzul Malik Shaari, 25.

The rescuers were reportedly seen struggling by a team on the banks but they were dragged down by the vortex too fast for them to do anything.

Almost half an hour passed before the first body was recovered. By this point all six divers were unresponsive, Ali said.

The team, according to Fire and Rescue Department director-general Mohammad Hamdan Wahid, “immediately” took action as they pulled the bodies out.

Emergency procedures were attempted but it was “too late”, Wahid added.

The search for the boy was said to resume on Thursday morning. The teenager is believed to have fallen in the pond while fishing on its banks with two friends.

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