Saturday 21 July 2012

Air-crash: Sarawak PKR veep still missing - Joseph Tawie

Fishermen sight body of one crash victim.

KUCHING:  There is still no word of the whereabouts of  state PKR vice-president Peter Ato Mayau, who was among the three victims of a helicopter crash at the estuary of Sungai Lingga yesterday morning.
 This morning a local fishing vessel discovered the body of Siti Khuzaimah Annuar, 27, and informed the state rescue mission.

Sarawak deputy police commissioner SAC Law Hong Soon said Siti, 27, was swept by strong current along the Batang Lupar, and was found at Maludam some distance away from the crash site at about 11.10am.

“The body has been brought to Sebuyau to be sent to the nearest hospital at Simunjan for post-mortem,” he said.

He said also said a three-pronged search and rescue operation from the air, ground and sea had been intensified for the two remaining missing.

The Department of Civil Aviation was also deploying personnel to the crash site, about 150km from here to determine the cause of the crash while initial investigations showed that the Sebiro-owned helicopter had sunk upon impact, he said.

Meanwhile still missing are Mayau, an engineer who was also tipped to contest in Mambong and architect Henry Lau, 40.

The pilot, a  German national Rico Stegar, 35 survived.

In the incident, a Eurocopter EC 120 believed to be owned by a local businessman Sng Chee Hua had reportedly crashed at 9.20am near the Sungai Lingga estuary in  the Sri Aman division.

According to a report from the Department of Civil Aviation, the aircraft left the Kuching International Airport at 8.57am for Nanga Merit, Kapit.

Yesterday at 4pm Sng’s son Larry posted on Facebook that the helicopter had ‘crash-landed’ into a river in Sebuyau.

He said all  four passengers had survived the impact but only one had managed to swim to shore.

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