16 dead in Malaysia orphanage landslide

The death toll from a landslide caused by heavy rains that hit a Malaysian orphanage has risen to 16, police said Sunday, announcing the search operation was over.

The incident took place at around 2:30 pm (0630 GMT) Saturday at the Children's Hidayah Madrasah Al-Taqwa orphanage in Hulu Langat, just south of the capital Kuala Lumpur.

A policeman at the scene said 16 bodies had been recovered, including a 34-year-old caretaker. The ages of the others killed ranged from eight to 19 years old.

"The search and rescue operation is over. We have completed our mission," said a police officer at the scene, who did not want to be named.

Villager Mohamad Azam, 38, said: "The last four bodies were taken out at about 5:30 am.

"I know some of the boys. They are very good boys. They recite their prayers early in the morning every day."

Ten people remain in hospital.

Landslides are regular natural disasters in Malaysia and the government has imposed strict rules with regards to hillside development.

In one of the country's worst landslips, a huge mudslide brought on by heavy rain triggered the collapse of a 12-storey residential building on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in December 1993, killing 48 people.

Print Email