HULU SELANGOR: The wish of Ling Zi Xuan, who survived the landslide tragedy at the Father’s Organic Farm camping site, Gohtong Jaya near here on Dec 16, last year, to personally meet and express his gratitude to the heroes who saved him, has finally come true.

Ling, 20, who was rescued on the first day of the landslide tragedy, visited the Kuala Kubu Baru Fire and Rescue station on Thursday, to personally express his appreciation to his rescuers.

His father, David Ling, 43, said that after his son was rescued, he made daily requests to meet the firemen who found him buried waist-deep in the landslide.

“He really wanted to meet and say thank you to his rescuers. Initially, it was difficult to specifically identify those who had helped him. Finally, yesterday after finding out the station where the rescuers were attached, my son and I went there and he was obviously very grateful and appreciative towards them,” he said.

David, who lost his wife, Liu Pei Si, 44, in the tragedy, said this to Bernama after attending an appreciation programme dedicated to the search and rescue (SAR) team of the tragedy, which claimed 31 lives, at Wisma Antara Gapi, near here, last night.

Recalling the ordeal, David said he tried to contact his wife, who was a teacher at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) Mun Choong, several times after learning about the tragedy, but there was no answer.

“With the help of friends, we went searching for my son and wife at the Bentong Hospital, the Kuala Kubu Baru Hospital and the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. I also shared information about my wife and son to facilitate the search,” said David, who lives in Kepong.

He said that he was relieved when told that his son was rescued on the first day of the tragedy, but was still waiting for news about his wife.

“I went to Sungai Buloh Hospital as soon as I was informed that four bodies were taken there. I waited until 11 pm, but there was still no news. The next day I went back to the hospital and I was finally told that my wife had died,” he said.

Asked about the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration, David said the family was still in mourning.

“According to Chinese tradition, the family will be in mourning for 49 days. It is really sad because normally my wife would prepare the dishes and other stuff, but now things have changed.

“No big feasts, just the normal dinner,” he said, adding that he and his son were still receiving counselling every two weeks due to the trauma. - Bernama