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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Five dead as landslide hits orphanage

Sulaiman Kamal | 10:19 PM | Best Blogger Tips

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The children were taking part in a motivational camp at the orphanage when the landslide struck.
KUALA LUMPUR: An avalanche of mud smashed into an orphanage in Kampung Gahal, Hulu Langat, killing at least five children, police said, after heavy monsoon rains lashed Kuala
Lumpur and surrounding areas on Saturday.
Police said eight children had been rescued from under the mud that partly covered the orphanage in Selangor.
But seven children remained missing after the landslide, which struck on Saturday afternoon, police chief Ismail Omar said.
“The rains are making rescue work difficult as the mud is still moving,” he told Reuters.
The children were taking part in a motivational camp at the orphanage when the landslide struck, local media said.
The incident took place at around 2:30 pm at the Children’s Hidayah Madrasah Al-Taqwa orphanage.
The child survivors were aged between 11 and 17 and a 22-year-old adult is believed to be a worker at the orphanage. The dead children were aged between 11 and 14.
The survivors were rushed to Kajang Hospital, Selangor police chief Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah told a news conference.
He said the orphanage, located close to a hill, had 49 occupants, five of them caretakers. All the residents of the orphanage are male.
The debris from the landslide covered the whole camp erected on the hillside.  A surau was also hit by the landslide.
“We understand that two landslides occurred within seconds of each other. All of them in the camp were trapped,” Tun Hisan said at the scene.
He said the rescuers comprised personnel from the Fire & Rescue Department, police and Civil Defence Department.
Rescue operations were ongoing even in heavy rain, said Putrajaya Fire & Rescue assistant commissioner Morni Mamat.

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