Three Civil Defence Force (APM) personnel and a volunteer firefighter had a close call when they were stranded over an hour after a bridge in Kampung Hayat, Simpang Pelangai in Bentong collapsed due to the swift current of Sungai Semerting early today.

One of the APM personnel, Mohd Yasin Mohd Yusof, 30, said the incident occurred at 4.30am when they were monitoring the flash floods that hit three villages in Pelangai, since midnight.

He said they had just crossed the bridge on an APM land rover four-wheel drive before they were forced to stop at the end of it as the road leading to the village was inundated with waist-deep water, in addition to the strong current.

“I decided to go back and use another route to Kampung Hayat. However, as I looked behind, I saw the bridge disappearing from my sight. That’s when I realised that it (bridge) had collapsed.

“I told the others to stay in the vehicle as we could not move due to the strong current. So, we decided to wait until the water subsided before continuing our journey,” said the vehicle’s driver when contacted by Bernama here.

Yasin, who joined APM over a year ago, said they took turns to monitor the situation while trying to calm each other to avoid panic.

He said he was grateful that they had safely crossed the bridge before it collapsed.

“I could not imagine if the bridge had collapsed while we were still crossing over as the current was really strong.

“In fact, when we were stranded there, I often wondered what would happen (to us) if the water continued to rise… Would we be swept away along with the vehicle?

“However, I reminded myself to stay calm. I was responsible for three lives and I knew that we had to be patient. I kept praying that there would be areas that were not flooded and just nice for a Land Rover to pass through,” he said.

Yasin said it was almost 6am when the water level subsided and they decided to brave through the floodwaters to Kampung Hayat.

“I am very grateful to have escaped from the area. In fact, I saw the rest of the men heave a sigh of relief when we reached Kampung Hayat,” he said, adding that they continued with the monitoring of floodwaters at the village after that incident.-BERNAMA

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