Friday, May 6, 2016 12:57 pm
The German pilot of the helicopter that crashed at Borneo, Eastern Malaysia survived, but uncertain is the fate of the four passengers, including a deputy minister.
Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) Datuk Noriah Kasnon, her husband and the ministry’s Secretary-General were on board the ill-fated chopper. They were returning to Kuala Lumpur after going to Betong for an official event.
The helicopter was reported to have disappeared from radar just 20 minutes after it left Betong for Kuching at 4.12 p.m. on Thursday.
The journey was supposed to take between 35 and 40 minutes.
Betong is located south-east of Kuching.
A search-and-rescue team found debris believed to be from the missing Eurocopter AS350 on Friday morning near the Batang Lupar River, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said.
He said that the debris included a rotor blade, a floatation device, part of the helicopter body, a door and a seat, The Star daily reported.
Sarawak is holding an election on Saturday for the state legislature, and has seen an influx of dozens of heavyweight politicians.
The Plantation Industries and Commodities Deputy Minister, Noriah Kasnon,
The weather was bad at the time of the trip in Sarawak, where flying is the best mode of transport given the lack of roads through the state’s thick forests.
The military were deployed to assist the police and fire and rescue department in the search.