HUTAN MELINTANG – Six of the 24 deceased in the Sabak Bernam boat tragedy have been identified.
Hilir Perak district police chief ACP Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said the victims comprised four women and two men.
Five were identified by their family members at the forensic unit at Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, while one, at Hospital Teluk Intan, through an identification document.
“The families of the rest of the deceased have not come forward and the embassy is still tracing them,” he told reporters at the search and rescue operation centre at Jeti Hutan Melintang here Saturday.
He said based on the investigation, a majority of the victims were from Acheh, Indonesia.
Mohd Shuhaily said the search and rescue operation had been expanded to 25 nautical miles off the incident site following the recovery of nine bodies beyond the area two days ago.
“The search and rescue team believes that the victims or bodies could have been carried away by the waves and winds,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the 40-ft ill-fated boat was meant to carry only 10 to 15 passengers.
“From what the rescued victims told us, the boat was carrying around 70 to 80 passengers.
“Our investigation found that some of the passengers did possess travel documents but had overstayed in Malaysia and decided to return to their villages illegally,” he said. – BERNAMA