Authorities studying metal fragment to determine if it is from Long March rocket

KUCHING: Investigations are ongoing to determine whether a metal fragment found in Batu Niah, near Miri, is from the crashed Chinese Long March 5B rocket.

Miri OCPD Asst Comm Alexson Naga Chabu said a Batu Niah resident lodged a report after discovering the fragment at 5.30pm on Sunday (July 31).

ALSO READ: Black object found in Batu Niah, Sarawak, believed to be debris from China's Long March 5B rocket

"Initial investigations by the police found a piece of metal buried about one metre deep near the resident's house.

"However, we are not able to confirm its origin," he said in a statement on Monday (Aug 1).

ACP Alexson said police had requested assistance from the Fire and Rescue Department's hazardous material unit team and the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry to analyse the scene.

He advised the public to stay away from the area in case the metal fragment contains radioactive substances.

"The scene is being monitored closely to ensure no untoward incidents occur," he said.

He also said the public should not speculate or spread false news on the incident, but should instead contact the nearest police station.

It was reported earlier Monday that two families in Batu Niah were told to vacate their homes after metal fragments, believed to be debris from the Long March 5B rocket, were found nearby.

The rocket debris' re-entry into the atmosphere at about 12.45am on Sunday (July 31) was spotted by many over Sarawak skies, with pictures and videos posted on social media.

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