Two Chinese tourists and their local dive instructor were killed while diving on Friday in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sabah, police said.
The trio had been diving in the waters off Semporna, a popular spot for water sports, and were killed by those illegally fishing using explosives.
Sabah police commissioner Omar Mammah confirmed the deaths but said investigators are still gathering information over the incident.
“The incident has occurred but there are no witnesses who heard any explosion from a fish bomb. Investigations are ongoing,” he told Xinhua.
China’s Consulate General in Kota Kinabalu, the state capital, said it has launched a contingency mechanism and is waiting for the result of police investigations.
In an immediate response, Malaysian Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Mohamaddin Ketapi expressed his condolences for the deaths.
“We are waiting for the full report but what is important is that this incident does not happen again and the safety of tourists and the people is guaranteed,” he said in a statement.