Malaysia: At least 16 dead and 17 missing after landslide at campsite

Rescue teams search for survivors after a landslide at a campsite. Credit: AP

At least 16 people, including a five-year-old boy, have died and a further 17 are missing after a landslide at a hillside campsite in Malaysia.

About 94 people were thought to have been staying at the campsite on a farm in Batang Kali about 31 miles from the capital Kuala Lumpur, when the incident occurred in the early hours of Friday morning as people slept.

Seven people have been taken to hospital with injuries while search and rescue teams continue to look for people feared buried under the mud. Photos posted by the fire department show rescuers digging through soil and rubble.

Dozens of people were believed to have been at a tourist campground in Batang Kali. Credit: AP

Another 53 people were rescued without injuries, district police chief Suffian Abdullah said.

The landslide fell from the side of a road from an estimated height of 30 metres (98ft) and covered an area of about three acres. Survivors reportedly said they heard a loud thundering noise before the soil came crashing down.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has called for a thorough search and is expected to visit the site on Friday.

The landslide happened while people slept in tents. Credit: AP

Leong Jim Meng, 57, told the New Straits Times English-language daily he and his family were awakened by a loud bang “that sounded like an explosion" and felt the earth move.

“My family and I were trapped as soil covered our tent. We managed to escape to a carpark area and heard a second landslide happening," he told the newspaper.

The campsite is located on an organic farm not far from the Genting Highlands hill resort, a popular tourist destination with theme parks and Malaysia's only casino.

Malaysia is currently experiencing year-end monsoon rains but the area had only seen light drizzle in recent days.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know