KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — There were no new findings on the third day of the search and rescue (SAR) operation at the location of the landslide that hit the Father’s Organic Farm campsite along Jalan Batang-Kali-Genting Highlands.
Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Norazam Khamis said that the SAR operation to locate and rescue the remaining nine missing victims was suspended temporarily as of 6 pm due to weather conditions.
He said that the operation, which resumed at 9am today, involved the careful use of excavators to remove the initial three to four feet of soil and debris and make it easier for rescuers to locate the victims.
“After the excavating team stops, we check either manually or using the K9 units. If there are any signs of victims, then we continue to dig slowly and carefully,” he said.
He added that the excavating process was monitored by a member of the rescue team, who would provide guidance and instruction, and that more excavators might be added to the eight that were onsite if necessary.
Norazam also shared that the rescuers were using two Ground Penetrating Radar machines from the Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (JUPEM) and the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) to assist with locating victims.
The machines are being manned by two teams stationed at Sector A (Hillview) and Sector C (Riverside) of the incident site.
In addition, 11 K9 units, six from the Fire and Rescue Department, four from the police and one from the Malaysian Armed Forces, had been mobilised to join the operation, he said.
The landslide that occurred at 2.42 am Friday morning has resulted in the death of 24 victims, with nine still missing out of a total 94 victims as of yesterday evening. 61 others survived.
Meanwhile, Nadma said in a statement today that the autopsies for 24 victims have been completed and a combination of three processes, Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing, fingerprint testing and confirmation by next-of-kin, were used to identify the deceased victims.
The identities of three of the 24 deceased victims are being identified while three survivors, two men and a woman, are still being treated at Kuala Lumpur Hospital and Selayang Hospital, Nadma said.
In addition, Hulu Selangor district police chief Supt Suffian Abdullah said that the police had called up the operator of the campsite along with two workers to assist in investigations into the landslide, adding that other involved parties might also be called in the process of the ongoing investigation.
Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming had previously said that the campsite was operating without a license from the Hulu Selangor district council. — Bernama