Body Of 5th Mersing Boat Tragedy Victim Found

31 Dec

SINGAPORE: The body of the fifth Singaporean victim of the Mersing boat accident has been found.

The body of 44-year-old Ng Kian Tek was found by a fisherman in the waters near Bintan Lagoon Resort in Indonesia, on Thursday afternoon at about 1.30 pm.

The body has been brought to a mortuary at a hospital in Tanjong Pinang, which is near Bintan island.

Channel NewsAsia sent a photo from a viewer to the authorities in Mersing, who invited Ng's brother to identify the body.

Channel NewsAsia has spoken to Bintan police chief, Mr Johsnes Widodo, who said the identity of the body was confirmed by looking at the personal belongings found in his pocket.

“We found, on the body, among others a passport, the name was Ng Kian Teck. There were also a wallet, a bunch of car keys, a SIM card, a credit card and also 400 Ringgit,” said the police chief.

Ng's brother has also confirmed his identity by the clothes that he was wearing.

Ng had been missing since Sunday's boating accident in Mersing, Malaysia.

He had been the sole victim still missing after the boat that he was in, sank when it was travelling from a kelong near Sibu island, towards the Tanjong Leman ferry terminal in Mersing.

29 passengers were on that boat which was supposed to carry only 12 people.

Four other Singaporeans died in the accident.

Mersing police are still conducting investigations into the tragedy.

The boatman and the owner of the capsized boat who had been in remand since Sunday were released on bail on Thursday. Their case will be heard on Friday and authorities will determine what charges will be brought against them.

Authorities there have called off search operations now that Ng's body has been found.

Mersing's police chief, Deputy Superintendent of Police Mohd Nor Rashid, said: “We call off, we will call off (the search)…For us, we're very sad because the body is a dead body. We are sad [for] the family. I can only say that I am very proud of the assistance given by all the agencies concern for the search and rescue.”

Singapore's Foreign Affairs Ministry said the family of the late Mr Ng Kian Teck will travel to Bintan after being informed that his body has been recovered.

In a statement, the Ministry said an officer from its consulate in Batam will travel to Bintan to help the family with arrangements. It added a bag containing two Singapore passports bearing the names of Mr Ng and his wife, Chua Poh Lit, was found on the body.

-CNA/ac

Channel News Asia

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