Taiwan quake: Rescue dogs given missing Singapore couple’s clothes to pick up their scent, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Taiwan quake: Rescue dogs given missing Singapore couple’s clothes to pick up their scent

The family of the Singaporean couple still missing in Taiwan after the worst earthquake to strike the island in 25 years has given the pair’s clothing to rescuers in the hope that it will aid sniffer dogs searching for them.

The search has progressed to Taroko Gorge national park on April 8, the sixth day since the earthquake hit, with a team of seven rescue officers and three dogs involved in searching for the couple, according to the Hualien County Fire Department.

The two Singaporeans, who have been identified as Mr Sim Hwee Kok and Ms Neo Siew Choo, are among six people still unaccounted for since the April 3 earthquake, which killed 13 people and injured more than 1,140.

Their sisters on April 8 handed clothes worn by Mr Sim and Ms Neo to the rescue team so that the sniffer dogs can pick up their scent at the site and find them as soon as possible, the leader of the special search and rescue team, Mr Wen Tsung-hao, told Taiwan’s United Daily News.

The couple, who also hold Australian passports, were last seen alighting from a bus on the Shakadang Trail in Hualien’s Taroko Gorge at around 7.20am on April 3, CCTV footage from the vehicle has shown.

The 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan around 40 minutes later, with the epicentre about 18km south-west of Hualien City on the island’s east coast.

Taiwanese media reported that the missing couple’s family have requested to keep a low profile and have turned down requests for interviews while hoping to be reunited with their kin at the soonest.

On the morning of April 8, the fire department estimated the couple to be within 1.5km of the Shakadang Trail, where most of the rescue efforts have been focused. But the search area was later expanded after a fruitless search at a rest stop known as Wu Jian Wu (Five Houses in Mandarin).

Three dogs – Wilson, Hero and Fancy – have joined the rescue efforts since April 5, said the Hualien fire department. Wilson was the first to discover two casualties in quick succession at a rescue site of collapsed rubble. But the search for the Singaporeans has been fruitless so far.

The Singapore Trade Office in Taipei is in touch with the local authorities on the matter, and its officials have been in contact with the next-of-kin and are providing consular assistance.

花蓮縣消防局之搜救犬Wilson於0403震災救援行動中首建功   花蓮縣消防局特搜大隊之搜救犬小組自110年成軍後即不斷努力訓練,並為因應今年度0403發生之震災投入救援行動,於4月5日首度出勤執行砂卡礑步道失蹤民眾之協尋任務。   ...

Posted by 花蓮縣消防局 on Monday, April 8, 2024