Landslide tragedy: 4 killed, one missing

Source: Dec 6, 08 8:41am

A massive landslide at 4 this morning buried 14 bungalows in Taman Bukit Mewah and Taman Bukit Utama in Bukit Antarabangsa, Selangor. Four bodies have been recovered with one person still  feared buried as at 8.30pm.

ulu kelang bukit tinggi landslide 061208 01Three of the four who perished have been identified as veterinarian Dr N Yogeswary, 40, accountant Ng Yee Ping and Saiful Khas, 20. An Indonesian woman was pulled out of the rubble at around 7.30pm. Her identity has not been confirmed.Those who were reported missing earlier have contacted the police, according to Selangor Chief Police Officer Khalid Abu Bakar.

The remains and some 15 others who were injured have been rushed to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

Khalid said tonight that the search and rescue operation will continue for 24 hours a day unless the rain gets too heavy. He  revealed that about 100 people have been rescued from the site.

Earlier reports: The landslide has cut off the access road to the residential area, trapping hundreds of people at Bukit Antarabangsa in Hulu Klang

ulu kelang bukit tinggi landslide 061208  03Azmin Ali, the state rep for Bukit Antarabangsa told Malaysiakini over the phone that rescuers are now fighting against time to reach those trapped under the mud and rubble.

He said earth movement continued to take place and that electricity supply to several housing estates in Bukit Antarabangsa was disrupted.

The politician said he rushed over to the scene at 4.30am soon after he received word of the landslide.

Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar who was at the scene to direct rescue efforts told reporters that a total of 3,000 to 5,000 residents in the vicinity of the landslide have to be evacuated.

ulu kelang bukit tinggi landslide 061208 04According to Bernama, a total of 160 police, army, Ampang Jaya City Council (MPAJ) and medical personnel are involved in the search and rescue operation. More than 10 ambulances were spotted at the scene.

The news agency also reported that one of the affected bungalows is owned by Mohamed Thajudeen Abdul Wahab, the principal private secretary to the prime minister.

Thajudeen and his family are safe. They were not at home at the time of the incident.

Eyewitness accounts

landslide bukit antarabangsa 07An eyewitness, businessman Hassan Saad, 48, told Bernama that he was watching television in his sitting room at 4am when he heard what sounded like strong wind but when he looked out, the air was still and the trees were not swaying.

He returned to watching the TV but suddenly he heard a bomb-like explosion. He ran out of the house and saw earth sliding down the hillslope, hitting his neighbour’s house in front.

Hassan said he shouted to wake up his family and alerted his neighbours to run for their lives. His family of 10, including his mother-in-law and two cousins, managed to run to safety.

ulu kelang bukit tinggi landslide 061208 02Meanwhile, a man who wanted to be known only as Chong, said his daughter and two-month-old grandchild were buried alive in the landslide while his son was still missing as at 9am.

He said he visited them last night and had gone home at 11pm but was told by a neighbour’s son that his son’s house had been buried in the landslide.