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    Three drowned as longboat capsizes in Malaysian river

    10 流覽量
    Originally published on January 19, 2014

    Four women were drowned after a longboat capsized in a river near the town of Daro, Malaysia, on Saturday afternoon.

    Twenty-seven people, all of them heading to Kampung Tekajong, boarded a longboat after attending a wedding in Kampung Saai.

    The boat was traveling along the Batang Lassa, a tributary of the Rajang River, at around 1pm when the weather deteriorated. The vessel, which is used for fishing as well as transporting passengers, capsized after it was hit by several large waves, and all passengers were thrown into the waters.

    Hearing the screams of passengers, residents of the nearby village Kampung Kut jumped into their fishing boats to try to rescue them despite the high tides and heavy rain. According to the Borneo Post, the villagers managed to pluck 16 people, including seven men and nine women, out of the turbulent water.

    The bodies of four females were recovered while eight adults are still missing. Authorities have deployed about 100 officers in the rescue effort, which was also aided by 14 boats from nearby villages. However, the operation was disrupted by unfavourable weather, as heavy rainfall kept a helicopter from being dispatched from Kuching, a city about 500 km away from the accident site on Sunday morning.

    The reason for the capsize remains unknown. "It has been suggested the boat was overloaded but the police are not going to confirm this now. Let us search first," Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Wira Muhammad Sabtu Osman told the Star, a Malaysian newspaper. "All efforts are on the search. Investigation will come later. We cannot say how it happened other than the weather could have been in bad shape at the time."

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