Batang Kali landslide: K9 unit dog passes out, needs rest
BATANG KALI, Dec 18 – While many sharing photos on social media show the rescue team fatigued in the search and rescue (SAR) operation for the Batang Kali landslide victims, most were oblivious to their silent companions who faced the same exhaustion.
The SAR team’s best friend, which is the (K9) dog detection unit, has also been working tirelessly in the operation to locate buried victims of the Batang Kali landslide since Friday.
Grim-faced, ferocious on command with a keen sense of smell that is far more acute than humans, these four-legged heroes have dutifully played their role to search the ground in any condition – thick mud, slush or rain.
However, during a critical moment of the operation, a K9 sniffer dog in action named “Blake” finally keeled over out of exhaustion.
According to Selangor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Norazam Khamis, the English springer spaniel passed out after two consecutive days of hard work and has now been rested.
“After two days of slogging more than the allotted time, they (the detection dogs) too badly need to rest and recuperate though they are not injured.”
“That’s why at this stage, we will rotate them in turn, starting with three (dogs) first, then we will use the rest,” he said in today’s media conference.
Norazam said so far, there are 11 tracking dogs placed on standby at the scene to assist in the search, with six belonging to the Fire and Rescue Department, four to the Royal Malaysian Police and one to the army.
“We may ask for an increase if necessary,” he said.
As of yesterday afternoon, 24 victims have been confirmed dead out of a total of 94 people involved in the landslide tragedy at the Father’s Organic Farm campsite in Gohtong Jaya on Jalan Genting-Batang Kali.
A total of 61 people survived while nine are still missing. The unrelenting search for the missing victims continued today at 9am.