Not giving up search for boy

PETALING JAYA: It has been eight days, and 30 bodies have been found but rescuers are refusing to slow down even in the face of foul weather as they search for the final missing victim – an 11-year-old boy.Firefighters at the Batang Kali landslide site are even refusing to have their blood pressure readings taken for fear that they would be asked to stand down.

“They fear they will be stopped from the operations because of high blood pressure readings.

“Of course it will be high. They didn’t sleep well. They’re extremely tired. But they don’t want to be told to rest because of high blood pressure,” said social activist Kuan Chee Heng.

“They want to continue to help. This is their fighting spirit,” he wrote in a social media post.

The search for the last victim resumed at 8am yesterday near Father’s Organic Farm.

Kuan, better known by his moniker Uncle Kentang, has been on the field daily to deliver various forms of aid since the landslide incident hit last Friday.

A 28-year-old firefighter said he would not quit until all the missing victims were found, no matter what happens to him.

“It has been stressful but I believe all our training was for this,” he said.

The rescuers – from the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance, Civil Defence Force, police and military – have another avenue to get back in shape at the end of every exhausting day with Selangor FC’s physical therapists setting up a makeshift centre.

It has been treating 12 to 14 personnel within just a few hours a day.

Physical therapist Mohamad Fadhli, 26, said two of them perform sport massages to release the muscle stress the rescuers experience.

“For serious injuries, we provide other treatment, even muscle strapping,” he said.

There has also been a lot of support from the public for the rescuers.

Since the first day of the operation, many people and non-governmental organisations have been donating food and other forms of support to the rescuers.

Yesterday evening, Hulu Selangor OCPD Supt Suffian Abdullah said the operation was temporarily suspended at 5.30pm due to heavy rain and to ensure the safety of the rescuers.

The search is expected to resume at 8am today.

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