Nora Anne Quoirin inquest: Almost all specialised Bomba units deployed in search, witness testifies

Kenneth Tee
·2-min read
Fire and Rescue Department operations commander Ahmad Mukhlis Mukhtar (centre) is pictured at Seremban Court complex October 20, 2020. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Fire and Rescue Department operations commander Ahmad Mukhlis Mukhtar (centre) is pictured at Seremban Court complex October 20, 2020. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

SEREMBAN, Oct 20 — Multiple specialised units from the Fire and Rescue Department, or Bomba, were deployed to assist in the search-and-rescue operation of Irish-French teenager Nora Anne Quoirin when she disappeared last year, the Coroner’s Court heard today.

Testifying as the 24th witness at the inquest into Quoirin’s death, the departments operations commander Ahmad Mukhlis Mukhtar told the court a total of four specialised units were deployed a day after Quoirin was reported missing from August 4, 2019 onwards.

“Among the specialised assets deployed were the Water Rescue Unit (PPDA), Multi-Skill Team (MUST), K-9 Detection Unit and the Special Tactical Operation and Rescue Team of Malaysia (STORM) aimed at assisting in the search operation,” he told Coroner Maimoonah Aid.

Mukhlis said, for example, the department received an application from the police to deploy their PPDA divers specialised in water rescue to address the likelihood of drowning and another application for the use of cadaver dogs to seek out a body at a specific area.

On designated search areas, Mukhlis told the court rescue personnel had entered the area where Quoirin’s body was eventually found days after she went missing as early as August 5, 2019.

Quoirin was reported missing by her family on August 4, 2019.

“That area where the body was eventually found, our personnel had actually entered but could not find any traces of the girl then as informed to me by my officers on the ground,” he said, adding that the area was also inclusive of their large-scale search-and-rescue operation the following days.

He also informed the court that he was not involved in direct search-and-rescue operation but merely coordinated and arranged the department’s asset for deployment.

Despite the multiple specialised assets and resources deployed on the ground, Mukhlis said it was unfortunate there were no positive results throughout their 10-days search operation.

Fire and Rescue Department Multi-Skill Team (MUST) personnel Hizwan Khalil is pictured at Seremban Court complex October 20, 2020. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Fire and Rescue Department Multi-Skill Team (MUST) personnel Hizwan Khalil is pictured at Seremban Court complex October 20, 2020. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Meanwhile, MUST personnel Hizwan Khalil testified he was one of the personnel that had entered the area on August 5, 2019 where Quoirin’s body would eventually be found days later.

To this, Hizwan said there were no positive indication of the missing girl at the time of their search.

Quoirin, a 15-year-old with learning difficulties, disappeared from The Dusun resort last year where she was staying with her London-based family, triggering a 10-day hunt involving helicopters, search dogs and hundreds of searchers.

Her body was discovered close to the jungle retreat and an autopsy found that she probably died of internal bleeding after spending about a week in the dense rainforest.

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