Another 19 bodies recovered from Malaysian migrant boat accident

Another 19 bodies recovered from Malaysian migrant boat accident
A rescue team carrying a victim retrieved from a search operation near the area where a boat carrying Indonesian migrants sank in Hutan Melintang.
PHOTO: AFP / Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency

PETALING JAYA - Rescue workers have recovered another 19 bodies from Sg Bernam, believed to be the victims of the sunken boat carrying illegal Indonesians.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Klang enforcement chief Maritime First Admiral Mohd Aliyas Hamdan said the bodies were found within the search area.

"We believe 18 of them are males and one a female.

"As the Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainon mortuary in Ipoh is full, these bodies will be sent to the Sabak Bernam Hospital," he said yesterday.

Admiral Mohd Aliyas said another five or six bodies had been spotted, but had yet to be recovered.

"To date, we have no way of knowing exactly how many are still missing as no one knows how many boarded the boat before it set off for Tanjung Balai.

"We will keep searching," he said, adding that the navy, air force and MMEA were still out conducting the search operations.

A total of 20 survivors, including a man who was found floating in the sea for more than 28 hours, have been rescued so far.

The number of bodies recovered now stands at 50.

The victims were said to have crammed into a small boat, which left Kuala Sungai Bernam for Tanjung Balai in Sumatra early Wednesday.

It is believed that they were heading home for the Hari Raya Haji celebrations.

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