Bodies of 5 students, 1 teacher return to Singapore on Sunday night

Bodies of 5 students, 1 teacher return to Singapore on Sunday night
Families of the deceased and other personnel, ushered by staff members from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, preparing to board a Singapore Armed Forces airplane headed for Singapore at the Kota Kinabalu airport on June 7, 2015.

The Ministry of Education said in a statement released on Sunday evening that the bodies of the five students and one teacher from Tanjong Katong Primary School, as well as the Singaporean adventure guide, will return to Singapore tonight on a Republic of Singapore Airforce (RSAF) C-130 aircraft.

Their next-of-kin will return on another RSAF C-130 aircraft.

Meanwhile, the search for student Navdeep Singh Jaryal S/O Raj Kumar, and teacher Mohammad Ghazi Bin Mohamed is continuing.

The victims were part of a group of 24 pupils and eight teachers who had started on the trek up to the start of the Via Ferrata "Walk the Torq" route on Friday at about 4.30am. Five pupils stayed behind because they were feeling unwell.

Via Ferrata, or Iron Road in Italian, refers to a mountain route consisting of fixed cables, ladders and bridges.

The pupils were split into five groups for the trek. By 6.45am, they had arrived at the start point of the "Walk the Torq" route to start on activities, MOE said at a briefing on Sunday afternoon. At 7am, they started on the route.

Three groups, comprising about 12 to 15 pupils, five teachers and at least three instructors, were on the route when the quake struck at about 7.15am. Most of the victims were from these three groups.

At that time, the last two groups were just about to get onto the route. Teachers who were with these two groups got the pupils to huddle and stay low while they tried to shield the children.

They saw boulders coming down from the mountain top.

When the tremors stopped, the teachers checked on the pupils, and instructors got those who were able to move to descend the mountain.

At the briefing, the ministry said the "Walk the Torq" route, which takes two to three hours to complete, is designed for those aged 10 and above, and has a height requirement of 1.33m.

Measures, such as safety briefings, were in place. Pupils were also equipped with helmets and safety harnesses, among other things.

TKPS has been using the route for seven years, said the ministry. Other primary and secondary schools, and at least one international school, also bring students to this route.

No one from the schools here has been hurt while using the route since 2007 when it first opened, MOE added.

The body of 12-year-old Peony Wee Ying Ping has arrived at Jalan Tiga in Mountbatten just after 7.30pm on Sunday, reported The Straits Times.

She had been among a group of 40 from Tanjong Katong Primary School, when a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Mount Kinabalu on Friday.

Her mother, Ms Luo Jin, 43, brother, Chester, 14 and father, Alson Wee, 51, were seen at her wake.

More about

sabah quake
Purchase this article for republication.



Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.