KUALA LUMPUR: The death toll from a landslide near Genting Highlands in Malaysia rose to 26 after search and rescue teams on Wednesday (Dec 21) found the body of a man.
An emergency crew had been combing through muddy terrain when they dug out the body of a man still hugging his dog, senior rescue official Hafisham Mohamad Noor told AFP.
The man's remains were taken to a hospital while the dog's were handed over to veterinarians, he added.
Seven people are still missing after a predawn landslide on Friday hit Father's Organic Farm in Batang Kali.
About 680 crew members from various agencies led by the fire and rescue department and the police are involved in the rescue operations.
On Tuesday night, the remains of a young girl were recovered, officials said.
Local police chief Suffian Abdullah said the girl is believed to be between six and 10 years of age and that she was found 5m below ground.
"When found, the victim was dressed in pink pants and shirt, sleepwear," he said at a news conference on Wednesday.
The 26 fatalities include eight children, AFP reported.
Officials said that when the landslide struck, there had been more than 90 people, most of them asleep, at the campsite. More than 60 campers had been found safe or rescued.
Selangor Fire and Rescue Department deputy director Wan Md Razali said that three officers had suffered injuries or were unwell amid the ongoing search operations.
Mr Hafisham said that although these officers were given permission to rest, they refused to leave the site as they wanted to continue looking for the landslide victims.
The commitment by the team drew the attention of the Selangor palace, with the Sultan of Selangor Sharafuddin Idris Shah and his wife Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin praising their efforts.
Meanwhile, Selangor police chief Arjunaidi Mohamed said police had recorded statements from 53 people to assist in investigations, including the operator of the campsite, two workers, survivors and families of victims.
The farm did not have a licence to run a campsite and its operators will be punished if they were found to have broken the law, authorities have said.
Landslides are common in Malaysia after heavy rains, which are regular at the end of the year.
However, no heavy rains were recorded in the area on the night of the disaster.
In March, four people were killed after a massive landslide triggered by heavy rains buried their homes in a Kuala Lumpur suburb.
In one of the deadliest such incidents, a huge mudslide in 1993 brought on by heavy rain caused a 12-storey residential building outside the capital to collapse, killing 48 people.