Rescuers finally retrieve dead miner
By:Allan Jay
Date:
1 - SV & KCH-tabai selamat-2603-gb (16)

BAU: Rescuers finally retrieved the body of Martin Mat Tapa which was crushed under a boulder in a hole some 80 metres deep at Mount Tabai today, after three days of search and rescue efforts.

The effort came as a surprise because rescuers had almost halted the retrieval operation following unwarranted conditions at the scene. However, the family’s hope and prayers were answered as rescuers finally managed to retrieve the body.

Bau police chief DSP Poge Nyaon said the victim’s body was pulled out from under the boulder around 4pm.

“However, rescuers only managed to bring out the body from the mountain hole at about 6.20pm.

“The body has been taken to Bau Hospital for further actions,” he told reporters near the control post at Mount Tabai today.

Meanwhile, Bau fire chief Tawang Lingem revealed that the victim’s body was trapped inside the 80-metre deep hole and the process of extricating the body out from the hole was challenging as there were a lot of curvy and narrow routes.

He thanked the villagers for their commitment during the three-day operation to extricate the victim.

Today’s operation involving six police officers, eight firemen and 20 villagers, was called off after the body was brought out from the cave.

The victim, aged 25, was said to have entered a hole with two relatives to dig for gold in the mountain last Tuesday.

However, an unfortunate incident struck as a boulder suddenly collapsed and crushed the victim while the other two villagers escaped and informed the victim’s family around 5am on Wednesday.

A SAR operation was activated around 11am (on Wednesday) after police received a report on the incident.

The mountain is a restricted area and digging for gold there is illegal.

Following the incident, Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail has ordered Bau police to close down the place from public entry.

New Sarawak Tribune e-Paper

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