Tragic tale of whole families lost


SUNGAI BULOH: Whole families have perished in the landslide which hit a farm in Batang Kali in the wee hours of Friday morning, leaving their relatives in horrified grief.

“My grandchild was only six years old,” cried grandmother Beh Su Lee, who was besides herself in sorrow at Sungai Buloh Hospital.

The visibly shaken 59-year-old had to be supported out of the mortuary by relatives after claiming the bodies of her daughter Gain Choo Yin, her son-in-law Wong Kim Yap and two grandchildren yesterday.

Speaking to reporters after having calmed down a bit, a tearful Beh said she identified the fourth member of the family yesterday, which included the two young children.

“I identified three bodies on Saturday and one more today. My daughter and son-in-law were in their 30s,” said the distraught Beh, as she was coaxed by relatives to walk away to a waiting car.

While her grandson Wong Zi Hang was six, it is not known how old the dead grandaughter was.

In a Facebook post later, Beh wrote: “Mummy wishes all of you to be reunited as one family, rest in peace, mummy loves all of you.”

It is not known if the family were part of the teachers’ group from SJK(C) Mun Choong, who went camping at Father’s Organic Farm near Gohtong Jaya before the tragedy struck in the wee hours of Friday morning.

Heartbreak: Beh (centre) weeping as she claims the bodies of her daughter and grandchildren at the Sungai Buloh Hospital mortuary.       — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The StarHeartbreak: Beh (centre) weeping as she claims the bodies of her daughter and grandchildren at the Sungai Buloh Hospital mortuary. — RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star

As the remains of the 24 dead victims were identified and claimed, the Hospital Sungai Buloh mortuary was a flurry of activity yesterday.

Another group of next of kin, from Machap Umboo in Melaka, also claimed the bodies of a family from the mortuary yesterday.

Both the parents and two children – aged six and three – are believed to have died in the tragedy but only three bodies have been found so far.

The six-year-old daughter is still missing, former Machap assemblyman Ginie Lim said.

“The missing child is believed to be still buried in the landslide.

“The family is from Machap Umboo and they claimed the three bodies. They are very distraught,” said Lim, who came to the mortuary to provide support to the next of kin.

A relative, by the name of Mary, said she hoped the missing girl’s body could be found soon.

The family was part of a group of eight from the Alor Gajah district, which went camping to the farm.

Meanwhile, relatives of another missing family from Machap had to suffer double agony.

They came to claim the bodies of their missing relatives at the mortuary yesterday, only to find that the bodies were not that of their kin.

Former Batu MP Tian Chua, who was with the relatives from Machap, said they had requested his assistance.

Tian Chua said the relatives had come to the mortuary but found that none of the bodies were from their family.

“The hospital would do a DNA test before allowing family members to identify the bodies. However, after two bodies underwent DNA paternity tests, the waiting relatives from Melaka realised they were not related.

“They then decided to go to the landslide site in Batang Kali to conduct some rituals. They are holding out hope that their missing kin would be found soon,” said Tian Chua.

At the Selayang Hospital, three of four landslide survivors were discharged yesterday.

One of them is a pregnant woman who is believed to be in her second trimester.

Sources said she and another male patient were discharged and taken home by family members in the late evening.

Bandar Tun Razak MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Health director-general Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah and Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa visited them before they were discharged.

The third survivor was discharged yesterday at around 4.30pm.

The fourth survivor, a male, is in stable condition but still hospitalised.

Search and rescue works are still ongoing at the landslide site at the Father’s Organic Farm at Batang Kali for those still missing.

A total of 61 people survived the disaster while nine others are still missing.

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