GURUN (Bernama): The bodies of two men digging for treasure at the foot of Mount Jerai have been found after they were buried under 15m of earth in a landslide on Sunday (March 22) afternoon.
Kedah Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) senior assistant commissioner Sayani Saidon said the body of Roslan Saidin, 52, was spotted at 10.49am and recovered at 11.36am on Monday (March 23).
"The body of the second victim (Md Noor Shaari, 68) was found at 12.53pm and was retrieved at 1.01pm, while the entire operation was over at 1.15 pm," she told reporters after a search and rescue operation at the scene of the incident here Monday.
She said even though the two victims were found one to two metres apart, it took a while to excavate as the second body was buried deeper.
"We did not experience any difficulties during the operation due to the favourable weather conditions and the locations of the victims were detected by a tracker dog unit.
"Two excavators were used in this operation and before digging to find the victims, we have to stabilise the soil structure first," Sayani said.
In the 6pm Sunday incident, the victims were said to have been covered by falling earth due to a ground movement while excavating in a 12metre-deep pit to find the treasure allegedly buried at the foothills of the mountain.
Meanwhile, Kuala Muda district police chief Assistant Commissioner Adzli Abu Shah said the issue was serious and advised the public not to be fooled by the rumours.
"It is learned that there were looting of heritage properties at the location and I urge the public not to be involved in such unlawful activities.
"Furthermore, according to the National Heritage Department (JWN), this is an offence under Section 86 of the National Heritage Act, which provides for a fine of up to RM50,000 or jailed up to five years," he said.
He said the authorities, however, classified the case as sudden death and the bodies of the victims were sent to Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar for post-mortem.
He said the excavated area would also be rehabilitated to ensure safety at the location. - Bernama
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