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Batang Kali landslide: Rescuers find body of 25th victim

Batang Kali landslide: Rescuers find body of 25th victim

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — The Search and Rescue (SAR) team found another body at the Father’s Organic Farm, Gohtong Jaya near Batang Kali, the site of a tragic landslide, at 11.15pm before the fifth day SAR operation was called off at 12 midnight yesterday.

The body was that of a girl, aged between five and seven, raising the total number of bodies found to 25 while eight are still not accounted for.

When the landslide struck the campsite at 2.42am last Friday, there were 94 people, including children at the Father’s Organic Farm, 25 perished, 61 escaped and eight are still missing.

Meanwhile, the ‘Sweeper’ team that has been involved in the SAR was increased from seven yesterday to 28 today, comprising 14 officers and 14 personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department and Armed Forces, as an initiative to double their efforts in the search and rescue operation.

Prevailing good weather conditions from yesterday and the Public Works Department’s report that there were no earth movements in the area, enabled the SAR operation which started at 8 am, to progress without any hindrance.

However, as of 8pm last night, the SAR team found blankets, containers and camping equipment at Sector C (riverside).

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department deputy director Wan Md Razali Wan Md Ismail said apart from Sector C, the SAR team had also carried out their search at Sector A (Hill View) and Sector B (Farm View).

The members of the team remain committed and determined to carry out their duties deligently despite the fact that three officers had suffered injuries or were not well and received treatment at the site.

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department assistant director Hafisham Mohd Noor said though these officers were given permission to rest, they refused to leave the site before finding the victims who are still missing.

The commitment shown by the SAR team has also drawn the attention of the Selangor palace when the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin today praised their effort.

Meanwhile, Selangor police chief Datuk Arjunaidi Mohamed said police had recorded statements from 53 individuals to assist investigations into the tragedy, including the operator of the campsite, two workers, victims who escaped the tragedy and families of victims.

According to data gathered by the Disaster Operation Centre, 29 of the 94 who were at the campsite on the day of the tragedy, were children. — Bernama

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