Dubai: A Dubai expat died while rescuing his son and nephew from flood waters in Malappuram district of Kerala in southern India on Tuesday.
Razak Akkiparambil, 42, an employee of an Indian school in Dubai, was back in India for his daughter’s wedding which took place a week earlier.
The father of three drowned after rescuing the two children after they fell into a flooded paddy field, according to Razak’s brother-in-law Shareef, who spoke to Gulf News over the phone from Kerala on Tuesday.
Their house was damaged in floods last year also. He somehow managed to renovate the house with people’s support. They had just got it repainted for his daughter’s wedding.
Shareef said Razak and his family had been staying in his house for the past four days following flooding caused by monsoon rain.
“Their house was damaged in floods last year also,” said Shareef. “He somehow managed to renovate the house with people’s support. They had just got it repainted for his daughter’s wedding,” he added.
In India for his daughter's wedding
Razak’s eldest daughter’s marriage took place just a week ago and the newlyweds were invited to Shareef’s house for lunch on Tuesday, when the tragedy occurred.
Shareef said, “After lunch, the kids went to see the flooded fields which now look like a river with 10 to 12 feet of water.”
Apparently, Razak’s son, 16 and Shareef’s brother’s son, 12, fell into the flood waters.
“I don’t know how exactly it happened. But I was told Razak too jumped in to rescue them,” said Shareef.
But Razak could not swim to his safety. Since everyone was busy taking care of the kids, Shareef said, people did not notice Razak collapsing in the water and drowning.
“I was not there with them. It looks like he was exhausted and collapsed in the water. He was already carrying a lot of tension. I had asked him to extend his leave for one more month and settle things before he flies back to Dubai. This is the biggest tragedy for our family. Everyone is in a state of shock,” said Shareef, speaking from a local hospital where the family was waiting for the release of Razak’s body.
Dubai colleagues in shock
Shareef, who works for the same school as a bus driver, was also Razak’s roommate in Dubai.
Razak’s colleagues in Dubai were shocked to hear the news.
“He has been working with the school for about 10 years,” said a senior employee. “He was very passionate about environment and played a major role in the making of our school’s garden. It’s heartbreaking news for us.”
Teachers and other staff had supported Razak when his house was damaged last year and they also contributed for his daughter’s wedding.
“I can’t believe this,” said a fellow staff member at the school. “He was very friendly with everyone. I met him on the last day of school when he visited all of us to give his daughter’s wedding invitation card. We shook hands and wished him all the best. This is really a big loss for his family and all of us at the school,” she said.
Gulf News could not immediately get a comment from the school management.