Sun, 28 Sep 2003

Search for landslide victims abandoned

INDONESIA: The search for four sand miners who went missing in a landslide last week in Pasir Gudang Hill in Pasir Buncir hamlet, Caringin district, Bogor regency, was called off on Saturday after a second landslide killed a volunteer rescue worker on Friday.

"The victims' families and the rescuers agreed to stop the search on Friday afternoon. We are worried that more landslides will happen and kill more people," said Caringin district chief Yasin Zaenudin.

One victim's wife, Dede Ratna, 29, said she accepted the decision.

"They have been searching for my husband for a week and have found nothing so far. I just want to return to my hometown in Cianjur (West Java)," she said.

The families and villagers prayed together at the site at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Five people were buried alive by the first landslide. Six others suffered severe injuries. The rescue team found a victim's body, Ujang Zakanuri Karta, on the sixth day of the search on Thursday.

But a second landslide on Friday claimed the life of a Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) volunteer, Dadi Kusmayadi, 32, who was caught in a rockfall and was decapitated. -- JP