Teachers rescue pupils after island jetty collapses

KOTA KINABALU: Teachers came to the rescue of about 25 primary school pupils who had fallen into the sea after a wooden jetty at Pulau Pababag collapsed in Sabah’s east-coast Semporna district.

A viral video shows teachers helping the SK Pulau Pababag pupils out of the water in the incident that occurred shortly at about 6.45am yesterday.

In a statement later, the Education Ministry said two of the pupils suffered slight injuries.

It said that based on the initial report by the district education department, the incident had occurred when the group of about 25, including kindergarten children and teachers, was on the jetty on their way to school.

“The ministry through the Semporna education department has taken immediate steps to provide assistance to the victims,” the statement said.

Helping hand: Teachers helping pupils who fell into the sea when the jetty at Pulau Pababag collapsed in Semporna district.Helping hand: Teachers helping pupils who fell into the sea when the jetty at Pulau Pababag collapsed in Semporna district.

Measures to provide counselling for the affected teachers and students will also be carried out, it added.

The ministry views the incident seriously and will ensure that the safety aspects including the mandatory use of life jackets are adhered to.

Semporna Umno chairman Abdul Manan Indanan said the teachers immediately assisted the children out of the water and put them into their boats.

He also noted that the tide was low and water was knee-deep for the pupils.

At the Sabah Umno meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday afternoon, Abdul Manan said he showed the viral video of the collapsed jetty.

He said Ahmad Zahid, who is Rural Development Minister, agreed to provide funding for the repair of the jetty at the island.

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