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Monday, January 30, 2023

Education Ministry wants Sabah jetties improved after schoolkids fall in sea


The Education Ministry today said that they will hold an engagement session with local authorities and other stakeholders in Semporna, Sabah to have the bridge and jetty infrastructures there improved safety-wise.

This comes after 25 schoolchildren and two teachers had fallen victim to yet another bridge collapse in the district.

The Education Ministry said the incident occurred about 6.45am today when the victims, including two kindergarten students, were at a jetty at Kampung Papabag and caused them to fall into the sea.

Two students sustained minor injuries in the incident, while the others escaped unharmed.

“The Education Ministry through the Semporna District Education Office is investigating to establish the cause of the incident and we have extended immediate assistance to all the victims.

“The ministry views this incident seriously and will ensure that safety aspects are improved by making it compulsory for (students and teachers) to wear safety jackets and that jetty structures are safe for their use.

“The ministry plans to hold an engagement session with stakeholders and local authorities soon to discuss improving the safety at the existing jetty so as to prevent such an incident from happening again,” it said.

According to the statement, the ministry would also request the local government to provide a safer alternative route for students, parents, and teachers to travel to their schools.

Earlier today, Malay daily Kosmo! reported that several teachers had to dive into the sea to save some 10 students after the bridge collapsed.

The poor state of bridges and jetties is not a new issue in Semporna, especially in water villages in the district, and many similar incidents had reportedly occurred in the past.

In one of the more infamous incidents, then Semporna MP Shafie Apdal and several of his bodyguards fell into the water after a bridge they were standing on collapsed when he was visiting Kampung Pulau Selakan in 2015. - Mkini

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