Malaysia landslide death toll rises to 24

TEHRAN, Dec. 18 (MNA) – Rescuers in Malaysia have found the bodies of a woman and two children, raising the death toll from a landslide at an unlicensed campground to 24, an emergency services official says.

Nine people remained missing on Saturday, and rescue efforts continue at the site 50km (30 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, said Norazam Khamis, fire chief in Selangor state, according to Aljazeera. 

Rescue efforts were hampered overnight due to heavy rain but picked back up early on Saturday as emergency response workers scrambled to locate any signs of life or human remains.

Norazam told reporters the bodies of a mother and son were found under a meter (3 feet) of mud and debris. The body of a little girl was discovered later. He said there was the hope of finding survivors if they clung onto branches or rocks that created pockets of air but chances were slim.

Rescue dogs and excavators were deployed to assist the rescue workers, who used shovels to sift through mud and uprooted trees in search of victims.

Authorities were still carrying out autopsies and waiting for the next of kin to identify the victims.

Survivors said they had heard a deafening boom on Friday and the earth shook before they were buried by the landslide inside their tents. According to officials, 94 people were sleeping at the Batang Kali campground on an organic farm when part of a hillside collapsed, sending mud and trees cascading down from a road about 30 meters (100 feet) above the site.

All the victims were reportedly sleeping at the time the landslide, which covered about one hectare (2.5 acres) of land, enveloped their tents.

A total of 21 bodies have been removed from the site so far. An additional seven people were hospitalized, including three Singaporeans.

The disaster is unfolding during Malaysia’s monsoon season when torrential rains are known to trigger landslides in the region surrounding Kuala Lumpur.


News Code 195071


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