Two drown: Calling 1122 may have saved children

Locals spend half an hour trying to save drowning kids before rescue call.


Express August 20, 2011

LAHORE:


Two children who drowned in a pool of rain water in an empty plot in Sabzazar police jurisdiction on Saturday could have been saved if emergency services had been alerted promptly, said witnesses and rescue officials.


Umer Hafeez, a resident of Sabzazar’s H Block, the site of the drowning, said he had seen some kids jump into the rainwater pool for a swim at around 9:15am. He said the pool is about four-to-six feet deep. Fifteen minutes later, he said, he heard kids in the neighbourhood shouting about someone drowning.

He said he and other local residents gathered at the pool and several amateur divers jumped in to try and rescue the children, but they couldn’t find them. “We called Rescue 1122 after about 30 minutes of trying. Not calling them straight away was a mistake,” he said.

Rescue 1122 public relations officer Farooq Ahmad said that the emergency service was called at around 10:30am, an hour after the kids drowned. They found the bodies in the water in 15 minutes, he said. “If they had called Rescue 1122 promptly the boys may have been saved,” he said.

The drowned children were identified as Rehan, 13, and Danish, 12, residents of Dobanpura.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2011.

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