The search on Bali's Mount Agung for 2 missing students from Bandung's Widyatama University - Eko Saputra Sudirman and Yunita Indah Savitri has been halted.
As reported on Balidiscovery.com, [See: 3 Students Missing on Mt. Agung] 3 trekkers went missing on December 26, 2007, with a search effort commenced on December 30, 2007. The body of one of the hikers, Muhammad Ikbal (21) was discovered by searchers on January 6th but the remaining 2 students are still missing.
The decision to halt search efforts on Mount Agung is connected with Balinese celebrations of Galungan and Kuningan and the belief that the mountain, considered sacred by Balinese Hindus, must remain undisturbed during this period of religious observance. Accordingly, search efforts ceased on Thursday, January 18, 2008, and will be re-commenced on February 5, 2007.
A local spokesperson for the Bali Search and Rescue Team (SAR) defended the decision to stop the search. According to the Head of SAR for Bali, Ketut Parwa, search efforts are normally conducted for only 7 days after a disappearance but was extended after the recovery of one body and at the request of the still-missing students.
A police examination of the remains of Iqbal indicate the man died from injuries sustained from a fall and exposure to the elements.
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