Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Malaysia police questions campsite operator after landslide kills 24

Malaysia police questions campsite operator after landslide kills 24

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian police have called in staff members from an unlicensed campsite to assist in an investigation into a landslide that flattened the camp grounds and killed at least 24 people, as the search for missing people continued for a third day on Sunday.

The victims, including seven children, died after a landslide tore through the campsite early on Friday while they slept in tents at Batang Kali, a popular hilly area about 50km (30 miles) north of capital Kuala Lumpur.

Of the 94 people caught in the landslide, 61 were safe and nine still missing, the Selangor state fire and rescue department said.

Search and rescue teams have increased the number of excavators and rescue dogs to find campers who may be trapped under mud and debris, with heavy rain raising concern of further landslides.

Hulu Selangor police chief Suffian Abdullah said police have questioned the operator and two workers of the campsite at Father's Organic Farm.

Authorities have said its owners were allowed to operate organic farms, but had not applied for licences to run three campsites on the property.

The farm owners did not immediately respond to a request for comment.