K9 team’s Blake burns out from rescue mission


BATANG KALI: While many sharing photos on social media show the rescue team fatigued in the search and rescue (SAR) operation for the landslide victims here, most were oblivious to their silent companions who faced the same exhaustion.

The SAR team’s best friend, which is the K9 Dog Detection Unit, has also been working tirelessly in the operation to locate buried victims of the Batang Kali incident since Friday.

Grim-faced, ferocious on command with a keen sense of smell thousands of times more acute than humans, this four-legged hero’s presence is to search the ground in any condition – thick mud, slush or rain.

But there came a time in the critical operation of the landslide, a K9 sniffer dog in action named “Blake”, an English springer spaniel, finally collapsed from exhaustion.

According to Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Norazam Khamis, the canine passed out after two consecutive days of hard work and is now resting.

“After two days of slogging more than the allotted time, they (detection dogs) too badly needed to rest and recuperate though they were not injured.

“That’s why at this stage, we will rotate them, starting with three (dogs) first, then we will use the rest,” he said yesterday, Bernama reported.

Unsung heroes: The dogs from the K9 dog detection unit, Grouse (left) and Denti returning to their camp after an exhausting search for victims of the landslide. — Bernama/AZHAR MAHFOF/The StarUnsung heroes: The dogs from the K9 dog detection unit, Grouse (left) and Denti returning to their camp after an exhausting search for victims of the landslide. — Bernama/AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

Norazam said so far, there are 11 tracking dogs placed on standby at the scene to assist in the search, with six belonging to the department, four (Royal Malaysian Police) and one (Army).

“We may ask for an increase if necessary,” he said.

As of Saturday afternoon, 24 victims have been confirmed dead out of a total of 94 people involved in the landslide tragedy at the Father’s Organic Farm campsite in Gohtong Jaya on Jalan Genting-Batang Kali.

Sixty-one people survived while nine are still missing. The unrelenting search for them continued yesterday at 9am after it was called off at 9pm on Saturday.

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K9 , Dog , Batang Kali , landslide

   

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