KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia –
A landslide Friday at a tourist campground in Malaysia left nine people dead and authorities said 25 people were feared buried at the site on an organic farm outside the capital of Kuala Lumpur.
An estimated 94 Malaysians were believed to have been at the campsite in Batang Kali in central Selangor state, around 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, when the incident occurred, said district police chief Suffian Abdullah. They had entered the area, a popular recreational site for locals to pitch or rent tents from the farm, on Wednesday.
A five-year-old boy was among the dead, Suffian told a televised news conference. Suffian said seven people have been hospitalized with injuries and rescuers were searching for the estimated 25 missing people. Another 53 people were rescued without harm. Around 400 personnel were involved in the search and rescue efforts.
The Selangor fire department said firefighters began arriving at the scene half an hour after receiving a distress call at 2:24 a.m. The landslide fell from the side of a road from an estimated height of 30 metres (98 feet) and covered an area of about three acres (1.2 hectare), it said. It posted pictures of rescuers with flashlights digging through soil and rubble in the early hours of the morning.
Bernama news agency posted a video of some families with young children who were rescued taking refuge at a nearby police station.
The campsite is located on an organic farm not far from the Genting Highlands hill resort, a popular tourist destination with theme parks and Malaysia’s only casino. Access to roads leading to the area have been blocked.
Malaysia has been experiencing year-end monsoon rains, but it wasn’t clear if it was raining before the landslide.