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Dutch tourist killed in Malaysia cave floods, guide missing

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This handout from the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department taken and released on July 13, 2019 shows the body of Dutch tourist Peter Hans Hovenkamp being carried out of Mulu National Park on the island of Borneo. Flash floods killed the Dutch tourist in a popular cave located in the rugged Mulu National Park on Malaysia’s Borneo island, an official said on July 13, as a search continues for a missing guide. Handout / SARAWAK FIRE AND RESCUE DEPARTMENT / AFP


Flash floods killed a Dutch tourist in a popular cave located in the rugged Mulu National Park on Malaysia’s Borneo island, an official said Saturday, as a search continues for a missing guide.

Local fire and rescue chief Law Poh Kiong identified the dead man as 66-year-old Peter Hans Hovenkamp from Utrecht in the central Netherlands.

“He died due to drowning following flash floods in the caves. His body was found in a river inside the cave and was taken to the Miri public hospital for a post-mortem on Saturday,” he told AFP.

Law said a search-and-rescue operation involving 16 officers had been launched to locate a 20-year local tour guide Roviezal Robin.

Eight other tourists in the same group “almost become victims” but fled to higher ground and escaped from being washed into the river, Law added.

Hovenkamp was reported missing on Friday while the group was touring the popular “Deer Cave”, home to an estimated three million bats which form amazing patterns in the sky when they leave each dusk.

Mulu Park, located in the remote Borneo jungle of Sarawak state and famous for its caves, cliffs and gorges, is a UNESCO world heritage site.

It sees thousands of visitors annually, particularly for its cooling rains during the summer months.

Law described the death as “a freak tragedy.”

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