SINGAPORE: Three Singapore Police Force (SPF) sniffer dogs have been deployed to Laos to help recover bodies in the aftermath of the massive dam collapse last month that swept entire villages and farmland away.
This is the first time that the police's K9 dogs are being deployed for an overseas mission, the SPF and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a joint release on Monday (Aug 13).
The three victim recovery dogs, along with a 32-member Home Team contingent – comprising 14 SPF officers and 18 SCDF officers – left Paya Lebar Air Base on a Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 transport aircraft on Monday morning.
The SPF officers will assist with victim recovery efforts. The official death toll from the dam collapse is at 31, with 130 people still missing.
The SCDF officers will replace the current 17-member SCDF team which has been carrying out disaster relief efforts in the Attapeu province since Aug 4.
The deployment comes after parts of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower dam in Laos gave way on Jul 23, sending billions of cubic metres of water gushing down onto villages in the area.