KOTA KINABALU: Two of the three students who died while trekking along a stream at a resort in Membakut may have drowned while trying to save their friend.
Sabah Education director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul said initial information showed that one of the students was believed to have slipped and fallen into a deeper part of the stream.
“I was told that when the student slipped, his friends tried to rescue him but they too slipped and fell with him and all three drowned,” she said.
Several students who saw Saturday’s tragedy immediately called their teachers for help but it was already too late.
Maimunah said the programme had received the approval of the Penampang education office although no trekking in water was stated as part of the planned activities.
Danial Norman, 16, Hafiz Hamizan Rahman, 16, and Quzaimi Jakaria, 17, were buried on Saturday.
They were among 120 students attending the three-day camp.
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the case should serve as a lesson that safety must never be taken for granted.
He said stringent supervision should have been exercised in ensuring the students’ safety, especially on outdoor excursions.
“It is important that organisers check the area first, and clearly mark the routes and tracks to take,” said Lee.
He suggested that education for occupational safety and health (OSH) be intensified in schools.
“These are occupational safety aspects that they need to be aware of. Students can also be taught OSH to help prevent tragedies,” said Lee.
Currently, NIOSH is working with the Education Ministry to introduce education on occupational safety in schools.
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