Sg Labau Mudslide Tragedy: 6th Body Found; SAR Focuses At Sg Pinangah

SAR operations for the remaining two victims will be focused at the Sungai Pinangah area on Thursday, the sixth day of the search efforts. – Photo credits BOMBA Sabah

SANDAKAN: Search and rescue (SAR) teams Wednesday found the body of another missing victim believed to have been swept away by mud flood in a landslide at Sen Fu Oil Palm Estate in Tongod, Kinabatangan.

Sabah Fire and Rescue Department Operations assistant director Khairul Azzuwan Ibrahim said the sixth body that of a girl, was found stuck among tree roots at the riverbank of Sungai Milian, Tongod, at 10.10am.

The body was brought to the Kampung Pinangah jetty and handed over to the police, he said in a statement Wednesday. The body will be sent to the Duchess of Kent Hospital in Sandakan for a post-mortem.

He also said the SAR team has now focused the operations on the area along Sungai Milian to Sungai Labau. All operations at the scene of the tragedy had since ceased.

“It was made based on the information received from the survivors who said the victims were seen to have drifted towards that direction during the incident,” he said.

The body of the sixth victim, that of a girl, was recovered on Wednesday. The remains were sent to the Pinangah jetty initially before being taken to hospital for a post mortem.

According to Khairul, the SAR operations, in its fifth day, involved a 17-member Special Tactical Operation Rescue Malaysia (STORM) team, eight members of the Multi-skill Team (MUST), a 10-member Sandakan Zone Water Rescue Team (PPDA), five members of the Keningau Fire and Rescue department as well as personnel from the Civil Defence Force and the Royal Malaysia Police.

Kinabatangan district police chief, Superintendent A. Sahak Rahmat when contacted said the victim found Wednesday was an eight-year-old girl, Alisan.

He said there was confusion during identification process of a body found Tuesday by a grandmother who claimed the body as Alisan but in fact it was the body of 11-year-old boy known as Juhati.

Sahak said the two still missing victims was a 35-year-old woman named Asma, and 11-year-old boy named Alan, believed to be the twin of Juhati.

The rescue operations was suspended at 5.30pm Wednesday and had since resumed Thursday morning.

Eleven people in a family were swept away by mudslides at about 1am on April 1.

Three of them – a man, his wife and their son – were found safe about 10 hours later while eight remained missing until Tuesday, when five bodies were recovered.

Meanwhile, Social Welfare Department (JKM) counselors provided counselling to the two survivors in Saturday’s landslide.

Tongod district JKM officer Nuslindah Imbaran said the two surviving victims, Abdul Kahalayan, his wife Jalikha Malingkut, both in their 50s, and their son Julaslam, 19, were given counselling by a counselor during the visit at Kampung Pinangah.