Penang landslide: Body of eighth victim found, three still buried in rubble

Assistant director-general (operation) Edwin Galan Teruki said the landslide hit 14 workers but three of them managed to escape. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The search and rescue (SAR) team has discovered the body of an eighth victim buried under the laterite earth at a construction site in Penang's Tanjung Bungah.

Fire and Rescue Department assistant director-general (operation) Edwin Galan Teruki, who is the operation commander, said the SAR team saw the thigh of the eighth victim at 3.27pm on Sunday (Oct 22).

"The body was found not far from the seventh victim, who was a Bangladeshi named Md But Alam.

"As his body was surrounded by iron piles (cerucuk besi), I assume we might need to take more time in retrieving his body," he said.

Edwin added that the identity of the eighth victim is yet to be identified.

The SAR team has confirmed the identity of seven victims, namely Yunus Nazir Huson (Myanmar), Hossen Mia (Bangladesh), Muhammad Elyas Mustak (Myanmar), Hosrin (Indonesia), Erwin (Indonesia), Rahmatullah Mohd Sidiq (Myanmar) and Md Nur Alam (Bangladesh).

Gearsudin Sadul Haq from Myanmar, Mohamad Josim Rahman from Bangladesh and another man, whose identity is yet to be determined, managed to escape from the landslide with minor injuries.

Over 220 personnel from the police, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force, Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart) Putrajaya, Rela and medical teams are involved in the search.

The Fire and Rescue Department's assistant director-general (operation) Edwin Galan Teruki said the landslide which occurred at about 8.30am Saturday hit 14 workers but three of them managed to escape.

He explained that the department could not provide the exact number of victims buried in the landslide on Saturday because three of them were earlier sent to the hospital for injuries.

"Now, we have confirmation from them and at the same time, we got their help in determining the location of the other victims," he said.

Edwin said it was estimated that about 1,000 tonnes of soil had to be removed from the site in order to find the other victims.

"We have added another excavator and extra lorries to remove the soil from the site," he added.

Asked if the buried victims could still be alive, Edwin said he could not predict but it might be "hard".

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