IPOH (BERNAMA) – The bodies of two people buried in a landslide at a tourist resort in a hilly area in Tambun, Ipoh in Malaysia yesterday, have been found.
Acting Perak Police chief Datuk Goh Boon Keng said the body of a man was first found at 9.55am, before another body, of a woman, was discovered in a jacuzzi of one of the units at the resort.
“The relationship of the two victims who are in their 30s has yet to be ascertained. Initial investigation found that the landslide occurred on the slope of one of the hills,” he told reporters at the scene.
Goh said the work to remove the two victims had to be postponed several times as there were soil and water movements, but the work was resumed at 7am using a backhoe upon advice from the Perak Department of Minerals and Geosciences.
He said the resort’s staff discovered the landslide at around 1am and quickly instructed all their clients in the four occupied units to save themselves, but the two victims were trapped.
The two bodies were taken to Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital for post-mortem. Meanwhile, Perak Fire and Rescue Department director Azmi Osman said a 47-member team was involved in the search and rescue operation to locate the two victims, including the K9 unit from the Klang Valley.
“The 100m landslide and the soil and water movements were probably triggered by the heavy rain over the past few days,” he said.
Perak Department of Minerals and Geosciences Deputy Director Mat Niza Abdul Rahman said, an initial inspection found that the resort area was surrounded by limestone hills on the remaining soil overgrown with trees, but the soil became weak when exposed to rainwater.
“As the ground weakens, it caused the landslide which destroyed part of the resort area,” he said.
Mat Niza said that the department would hold discussions with the authorities for further action, including conducting a study on the safety level of the area, and that they did not rule out the possibility of similar incidents at the location.
Meanwhile, the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat in a statement said they are working with the authorities to reach out to the families of the two victims, and would also provide every support and assistance needed. The statement also said no other guests and staff were affected in the incident and that all of them have been moved to a safer area.
“We wish to inform that the resort meets all the safety requirements and protocol by the authorities concerned and operates according to international standards.
“The health and safety of our guests and all staff have always been our top priority,” the statement said.