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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

Six Malaysian rescue divers drown in whirlpool in bid to save lost boy

Their diving gear was dislodged as they spun in the water

The boy was fishing in a pool popular with anglers in the township of Puchong. Getty Images
The boy was fishing in a pool popular with anglers in the township of Puchong. Getty Images

Six Malaysian rescue divers drowned in an accident while searching for a boy who had gone missing in a pool at an abandoned tin mine, emergency officials said on Thursday.

The 17-year-old boy had gone missing on Wednesday while fishing in the pool popular with anglers in the township of Puchong, west of the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Mohammad Hamdan Wahid, fire and rescue department director-general, said the divers encountered strong undercurrents that spun them around in the murky water.

Local police chief Abdul Aziz Ali said the spinning caused them to lose their diving gear.

They were pulled out of the water after 30 minutes, but by then they were already unconscious, he added.

Fire chief Mohammad described the death of six officers in one day as the "worst tragedy" to hit his department.

Tributes to the six men who lost their lives were paid on social media, celebrating the lives of the men.

Tunku Ismail, the Crown Prince of the state of Johor, offered his prayers, saying he knew how it felt to lose men on duty.

Malaysia's Fire and Rescue Department also paid tribute to the divers, offering prayers and condolences.

The search for the missing youth continues.