China / Society

Officer drowns during rescue

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-13 07:24

An assistant police officer died on Wednesday while trying to save two people from drowning in a river in Kuerle, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Xirali Aby, 24, had worked for the city's police patrol team for four years, according to Huo Zhenyou, director of the team.

The incident occurred at noon on Wednesday when a man and a woman fell into the Kongque River. Xirali, officer Reyimjan Yunus and another officer were patrolling nearby and were dispatched to help.

When they arrived at the scene, the three officers jumped into the river.

"They were more than 20 meters away from the bank. We suspected that they may have fallen from a bridge nearby," Reyimjan recalled. "I swam to the male, while the other two officers swam toward to the female."

Reyimjan helped the man back to the riverbank, while the other officer rescued the woman. Reyimjan and the officer then realized that Xirali was missing.

Word of the officers' heroic actions quickly spread, and about 100 locals joined police in firefighters in the search for Xirali. His body was found three hours later.

The Kongque River was broadened and deepened last year during a public improvement project, and the water is about 2 meters deep in some places, Reyimjan said.

Reyimjan said Xirali was a good officer. "He learned skills from me and followed me ever since he joined the team," he said. "Xirali was an introvert, but he was willing to help anyone at any time."

- Gao Bo

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