Sabah police today confirmed that two Singaporeans missing on Mount Kinabalu after last Friday's earthquake in Sabah have died.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the body parts of Navdeep Singh Jayrol s/o Raj Kumar, 13, and Mohamad Ghazi Mohammed, 35, had been identified by the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) teams from Malaysia and Singapore.
Their remains would be handed over to the families once the DNA tests had been completed, he told a news conference at the Sabah Police headquarters in Kota Kinabalu.
“The families have sent over blood and tissue samples which we have sent to the Chemistry Department for verification,” he said.
Altogether, 18 people, 15 mountain climbers and three guides, were killed when the 5.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the Ranau and Kundasang areas at 7.15am last Friday and sent rocks and boulders crashing down Mount Kinabalu, South-East Asia’s highest peak at 4,101 metres.
Ten of the dead were Singaporeans; six, Malaysians; one, Japanese and one, Chinese. They were at various stages of climbing Mount Kinabalu when the earthquake struck.
Jalaluddin said 14 of the bodies had been identified and handed over to the next-of-kin.
“The post mortem of the bodies of the Japanese and Chinese will be done after the families arrive here, most probably today,” he said.
The dead Singaporeans comprised three teachers and seven pupils from the Tanjong Katong Primary School. They were on an excursion up the mountain.
In SINGAPORE, the Ministry of Education, in a statement, expressed its deep appreciation to the Malaysian police, armed forces, other authorities and the many individuals for their support, assistance and contribution to the search and rescue and recovery efforts “of our students and teachers”.
“We will continue to provide support to the families during this difficult time,” the ministry said.