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Death toll of Malaysian ferry accident rises to 7
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10:53, October 20, 2007

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The body of the last of the 3 missing passengers of last Saturday's Malaysian ferry tragedy was found on Friday. The incident totally claimed 7 lives and injured 5 others.

The body of Choong Yoong Kim, 43, from Petaling Jaya, outskirt of Kuala Lumpur, was identified by family members at the Forensic Unit of the Mersing District Hospital in Mersing, Malaysian southern Johor state, the national news agency Bernama reported.

Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations Coordinator Maritime Captain Tan Kok Kwe said a police air unit Cessna spotted the body floating at 12:05 p.m. about 10 nautical miles south of Pulau Tioman and alerted the Marine Police, which then sent a patrol boat to retrieve the body.

The decomposed body arrived at the Mersing jetty about 5:00 p.m. and later taken to the Mersing District Hospital for a post-mortem, he said.

The jetty was packed with onlookers as well as relatives and family members of the ferry victims, including Choong's wife, Wong Soo Ching, 40, who broke down as soon as she saw her husband's body being taken to the police vehicle.

Following the Saturday mishap, a SAR team, comprising 140 members from the various agencies was formed to look for the victims missing from the ferry.

The ill-fated ferry, carrying 106 people, including the skipper and 2 crew members, was on its way from Pulau Tioman to Mersing jetty when it caught fire and sank on last Saturday.

Source: Xinhua



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