22 May 2011

Orphanage children killed by landslide

6:36 pm on 22 May 2011

A landslide caused by heavy rains has killed 16 people, almost all of them children, at an orphanage in Malaysia.

The BBC reports rescuers saved nine people from the Hidayah Madrasah al-Taqwa orphanage in the district of Hulu Langat, just south of the capital Kuala Lumpur.

A total of 20 children and five adult carers were taking part in an event in a tent at the orphanage, which is located on a slope, when it was hit by two landslides, within seconds of each other on Saturday afternoon.

Police said the bodies of 15 boys, aged between eight and 18 had been recovered. A 34-year-old caretaker at the orphanage was also killed.

The orphanage had 44 residents, all boys, and five adults.

Landslides in Malaysia are regular natural disasters.

In one of the country's worst tragedies, a huge mudslide brought on by heavy rain triggered the collapse of a 12-storey residential building on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in December 1993, killing 48 people.