KUALA LUMPUR: The death toll following a strong earthquake that jolted Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu last week has risen to 18 after the final two remaining victims who were unaccounted for were confirmed dead on Wednesday.
The remains of Navdeep Singh Jaryal, a Singaporean student and Mohammad Ghazi Mohamed, a Singaporean teacher, will be sent to their home country after further forensic tests in Malaysia, according to a statement from Singapore’s education ministry.
As a result, Malaysian authorities said they would end their search and rescue operations.
“These are the final two people who were missing.We will stand down the search and rescue by the end of today,” said Mohammad Farhan Lee Abdullah, police chief of the town of Ranau near the mountain.
Singapore declared a day of national remembrance on Monday after it lost a group of students and teachers in the earthquake.
Of the 18 who died, seven students and three adults were from Singapore.
The students were taking a route to the summit known as the Via ferrata — Italian for “iron road” — which was one of the worst-hit areas, traversing a steeply sloping granite rock face.
They were among 29 students and eight teachers from Singapore’s Tanjong Katong Primary School who were part of an excursion to the popular climbing destination.
A minute’s silence was observed on Monday at all Southeast Asian Games venues at the start of the competition, which Singapore is hosting.