SAR to focus in Sri Aman, Simunjan and Betong
A helicopter carrying several VIPs has gone missing in Sarawak, and a search and rescue operation has been mounted.
According to the Borneo Post, it is believed that Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Noriah Kasnon (Photo Inset), who is also Sungai Besar MP, was one of those on board.
Reports also claimed that the other passengers were Kuala Kangsar MP Wan Mohammad Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad, Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry secretary-general Sundaran Ann Amalai, Noriah's husband Asmuni Abdullah, and bodyguard Ahmad Sobri.
The helicopter was piloted by Capt Rudolf Rex Raga.
Meanwhile the focus of the search and rescue mission for the missing helicopter will be spread throughout three districts of Sri Aman, Simunjan and Betong, said Sarawak Police Commissioner Muhammad Sabtu Osman.
Muhammad Sabtu said police had received a report from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) at 8.20pm and a team was deployed to the area to carry out the search and rescue operation.
“We have launched our search and rescue mission in Sri Aman, Simunjan and Betong,” he said at a press conference here last night.
He said 100 personnel from the marine police, Fire and Rescue Department, police, General Operations Force and Civil Defence Department were involved in the mission.
At 6am this morning, a team from the Marine Police and a Police helicopter will head to the area and join the search and rescue mission,” he said.
Muhammad Sabtu also denied claims that the helicopter was found in Sri Aman.
The Eurocopter AS350 helicopter took off from Betong at 4.12pm and headed to Kuching before losing contact at 4.32pm, he said.
He said it was reported to be raining in Betong yesterday afternoon.