The Fire and Rescue Department will continue its search and rescue operation for runner Mohammad Ashraf Hassan who went missing while participating in the Gopeng Ultra Trail 2019 on Saturday, even after other search parties called off the operation at 1pm today.
Director-general Mohammad Hamdan Wahid said the operation would not have any deadline, but would only be carried out on a smaller scale.
“Even though other agencies had called off the SAR operation today, the Fire and Rescue Department will continue searching for the missing runner.
"Our SAR operation will be carried out in a smaller scale depending on the current situation,” he told reporters after attending the state-level Fire Safety Campaign 2019 in Pulau Perhentian today.
Earlier, Kampar police chief Hasron Nazri Hashim said that the SAR operation was called off because the search team did not find any fresh leads.
The SAR team had scoured 35 sq km of the rugged terrain, but was unable to locate Ashraf, he said at a press conference that was also attended by Deputy Health Minister and Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye.
Ashraf, 29, who hails from Muar, participated in a mixed group of 485 runners in the 25km run of the trail in the area which has many caves. But he did not return after it ended at 2pm.
When all efforts to find him by the organiser and fellow runners failed, a missing persons report was lodged at 1.09am the next day.
Meanwhile, Hasron advised individuals or voluntary groups planning to search for Ashraf to inform Gopeng police first by calling 05-3592222, whilst those with any information on the case are urged to contact Kampar police at 05-465 0020.
Lee, meanwhile, said the Health Ministry would extend all assistance it could to Ashraf’s family as he is a laboratory technologist at the Muar Health Clinic.