KOTA BARU (Bernama): Police will bring out four more bodies of Orang Asli from the Bateq tribe in Kampung Kuala Koh on Sunday (June 16), if the weather permits.
Kelantan police chief Comm Datuk Hasanuddin Hassan said a police forensics team aided by 12 Orang Asli men will enter the jungle area for the recovery operation and that the bodies are expected to be brought out by evening.
However, he said this depended on the weather and the travelling distance.
"If the weather is good, we will proceed. But if it rains heavily, then the operation to bring out the bodies will be postponed.
"The journey to the location of the four bodies will take four or five hours. If we use a boat, it will take us two hours but it will be difficult if it rains," he told reporters after the Kelantan police contingent headquarters (IPK) monthly gathering here.
He explained that it would be risky for the search team if it rained heavily, as there was a danger of decayed tree branches falling on them, for example.
He added that they would also have to take into account the Bateq tribe's customs and not take them out "just like that".
Comm Hasanuddin said the identities of the deceased would need verification.
"We found bone fragments and identities can only be confirmed through DNA tests," he said.
Comm Hasanuddin added police would record statements from family members of the victims after all the bodies were brought out.
He said some of the family members were most likely to have migrated and some could even have died (during migration) and buried in the area.
Comm Hasanuddin added that Kampung Kuala Koh would remain as a "red zone" (restricted) area until further notice.
It was reported that 14 people from the village died of mysterious circumstances.
The cause or causes of the deaths have yet to be ascertained but pneumonia is suspected as victims were reportedly suffering from breathing difficulties before they died. – Bernama