Friday 20 April 2018

Orphans buried alive in Malaysia landslide

Bodies of five young boys recovered so far

EILEEN NG in Malaysia

A landslide buried 20 boys and four adults at a Malaysian orphanage yesterday where scores of rescuers were digging by their hands in soil softened by the rains to find the missing, police said.

The bodies of five boys, ages 8 to 17, have been recovered. Six boys and a 30-year-old warden who were critically injured were pulled from the mud and rushed to a hospital, district police chief Abdul Rashid Wahab said.

Heavy rain had likely caused the landslide that hit the orphanage for ethnic Malay Muslim boys in a rural village in Selangor state, he said. Rain was still falling yesterday evening and hampering rescue work by 200 firefighters, police and others.

"They just had lunch at the tent by the side of the house when two landslides apparently occurred at the same time. The tent collapsed, burying 24 people as they did not have time to escape," he said.

"Rescuers have to dig using their hands and other equipment because the soil surrounding is very soft due to the rain," he said, adding the search would continue for another nine children and three orphanage workers.

A small stream runs near the orphanage, a huge three-story house at a foothill in a sleepy village in Selangor. The house wasn't damaged but was partly covered in sludge. Several tall trees fell along with the landslide.

Several houses nearby have been told to evacuate amid concerns of further landslides

Sunday Independent

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