KUCHING: A 12-year-old boy who was supposed to take his UPSR examination today was snatched and dragged away by a crocodile at Sungai Sarawak at Kampung Bako Ulu, about 25km from here, yesterday.
Mohd Azwan Hatta, from Sekolah Kebangsaan Bako, was swimming with his friend Sulaiman Sakini, 15, at 3.30pm in the river, about 200 metres from his house. Sulaiman said Mohd Azwan was holding his shoulders from behind when they were swimming and none of them noticed the presence of the crocodile.
"It was as fast as lightning. The crocodile, as big as a boat that carries 30 people, just snatched Mohd Azwan and pushed me aside. I felt like a bulldozer had hit me."
"I was pushed down the river but I managed to rise up, I couldn’t see anything or anybody. I swam to the river bank."
"I was so scared that I ran home and hid inside a room. I was so afraid," Sulaiman said when met at Mohd Azwan’s house after the incident here.
When Mohd Azwan’s mother, Mariyah Kipli, 34, noticed that her son was not back home after 5pm, she was worried and went to Sulaiman’s house to ask about Mohd Azwan.
When Sulaiman regained his composure and told her about the crocodile, she ran home to tell her husband, Hatta Abidin, who immediately rounded up the village folks to search for his son.
At 6.30pm, some 200 people on several boats went hunting for the crocodile. The Fire and Rescue Department personnel reached the village later to help with the search. At Press time, there was no sign of the crocodile or the boy.
Mariyah, visibly shaken, could not believe that her son had been snatched away by the crocodile. She said Mohd Azwan, the third in a family of seven children, did not usually go to the river for a swim.
"But from time to time I let him go with his friend to look for crabs and shells. When he told me that he needed to take a break from his studies, I let him go for a swim. After all, the river is very near our house," she said.