By THE BORNEOTODAY TEAM
KOTA KINABALU – A mother and her 10-year-old daughter are unaccounted for in Saturday’s boat tragedy where a boat filled with China tourists and crew capsized while on its way to Pulau Mengalum.
Blaming an incomplete passenger manifest, police chief Datuk Ramli Din said there were also other discrepancies in the name list whereby one passenger was registered twice – once with his nickname.
“We are still piecing the whole story as we interview survivors who are able to speak with us,” Ramli told a press conference Tuesday evening.
“Even this figure (of six still missing) could change as we continue with our investigations, but for now, we can say five tourists and one crewman are still missing.”
Initially it was listed that the boat had 31 people on board – 28 of them tourists from China.
However, at the last minute, one passenger pulled out making it 27 tourists and three crew.
Li Qun, who was supposed to have taken the trip to Mengalum island had cancelled it at the last minute upon seeing the high passenger load.
On Tuesday police said they discovered that one of the registered passengers had brought along his 30-year-old wife and daughter, but the two of them were not on the manifest.
“That being the case, we are now looking at five tourists who are still missing,” said Ramli, who earlier in the day was at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here to talk to some of the survivors.
“But I won’t dispel the possibility that there might be more changes in the number or identities of unaccounted people as the investigation continues,” he added.
Meanwhile, the 20 Chinese tourists who survived will be hospitalised for at least another another week.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital director Dr Heric Corray said that the victims needed some time to recover but some may be discharged a few days earlier.
“We expect them to be here for another week or so, although a few may be discharged earlier.
“They are also currently treated in separate wards, but we will put them together so they can support each other,” said Dr Heric when met at the hospital Tuesday.
The 20 survivors, according to Dr Heric sustained non-critical injuries of first degree burns, dehydration and hypothermia.
He also said that a post mortem had been performed on two of the bodies, but are still waiting for the family member of the remaining body before the procedure is done.