Thursday, 11 June 2015

Mount Kinabalu earthquake: Last remaining two missing victims identified

The last remaining two missing victims of Friday’s earthquake in Ranau have been identified by forensic teams.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the verification was made after DNA samples of the two Singaporeans were identified by the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) teams from Malaysia and Singapore.

“DVI teams were able to identify the identity of the victims through body parts retrieved from the scene,” he told a press conference at the state police headquarters in Kepayan here yesterday.

Their remains would be handed over to the families once the DNA tests had been completed, he told a news conference at the Sabah Police headquarters here.

"The families have sent over blood and tissue samples which we have sent to the Chemistry Department for verification," he said.

Altogether, 18 people, 14 mountain climbers and four guides, were killed when the 5.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the Ranau and Kundasang areas at 7.15am last Friday and sent rocks and boulders crashing down Mount Kinabalu, Southeast Asia's highest peak at 4,101 metres.

Ten of the dead were Singaporeans; six, Malaysians; one, Japanese and one, Chinese. They were at various stages of climbing Mount Kinabalu when the earthquake struck.

Jalaluddin said 14 of the bodies had been identified and handed over to the next-of-kin.

"The post mortem of the bodies of the Japanese and Chinese will be done after the families arrive here, most probably today," he said.

The dead Singaporeans comprised three teachers and seven pupils from the Tanjong Katong Primary School. They were on an excursion up the mountain.

In SINGAPORE, the Ministry of Education, in a statement, expressed its deep appreciation to the Malaysian police, armed forces, other authorities and the many individuals for their support, assistance and contribution to the search and rescue and recovery efforts "of our students and teachers".

"We will continue to provide support to the families during this difficult time," the ministry said.

Thursday 11 June 2015


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