Distraught mother tirelessly searches for toddler, suspected to have fallen in drain

MELAKA: "If my son has indeed drowned, may his body surface, but if someone has taken him, please return him," pleaded Nor Amiza Che Kar, 28.

The distraught mother has been tirelessly searching for her two-year-old son Muhammad Danish Mohd Faizal, who is missing, suspected to have fallen into a drain along Jalan Bukit Baru, Taman Goodwood, here, yesterday evening.

The incident unfolded at 3.30pm, when she realised Muhammad Danish was missing while she was engrossed in wrapping nasi kerabu for a customer during a heavy downpour.

Nor Amiza said that before the incident, she saw Muhammad Danish and his four-year-old sister playing in the rain beside her food stall.

She then instructed them to enter the car parked behind to change their clothes.

"I saw both children safely step over the drain and get into the car before a customer arrived to buy 10 packs of nasi kerabu. After my husband, Mohd Faizal Maarop, 38, and I finished wrapping the nasi kerabu, I turned around and saw my daughter getting out of the car, but Muhammad Danish was nowhere to be seen," she said.

"When I asked my daughter, she said she didn't know where her brother was, which shocked my husband and me. We immediately searched around but couldn't find him," she said.

According to Nor Amiza, originally from Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan, she and her husband then searched for their son in the drain in front of their stall after spotting Muhammad Danish's flip-flop on the grass nearby.

"My husband also rummaged and dove into the drain, filled with fast-flowing water, but failed to find our son. We then reported to the Bukit Baru Police Station, and the on-duty officers also contacted the fire department.

"We've been selling nasi kerabu for three years and never expected to face such a test," she said, revealing that her son was wearing a blue T-shirt and blue-white shorts during the incident.

As of 11.30pm last night, dozens of members of the public continued the search after the search and rescue (SAR) operation in the water was temporarily halted by the fire department at 8pm.

Despite having no blood relation, they persisted and continued searching along the drain for over 200 metres in drizzling rain. They also used pumps to suck out water to facilitate the search in the one-metre-deep and 0.6-metre-wide drain.

Failing to find any clues, the search continued along the larger drain up to Kampung Pulau Kelapa before they retraced their steps to search in the initially reported missing location.

Meanwhile, the Operation Commander from the Ayer Keroh Fire and Rescue Station, Fire Superintendent Zulkhairani Ramli, said that the Fire Department's Control Centre was set up at the location. The SAR operation will resume in the morning.

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