8 Students Badly Injured After Suspension Bridge They Gathered On For Internet Collapses

The bridge is said to be about 18m high.

Cover image via Borneo Sabah (Facebook) & Sinar Harian

Eight students in Ranau, Sabah were badly injured after the suspension bridge that they were on gave way while they were trying to connect to the Internet for online classes

According to New Straits Times, the students from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Ulu Sugut had been on the bridge in Kampung Gusi at around 9pm on Monday, 23 November, when the bridge, made out of wire mesh and wooden planks, collapsed.

"The bridge is old - about 10 years old, and there has been on and off repairs but it is rickety," said Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Joachim Gunsalam, as reported by Malay Mail.

Joachim, who is also the state Industrial Development Minister and Kundasang state assemblyman, said that eight students had gathered on the bridge that night, which could be why it gave way then.

The bridge is said to be about 18m high and the only spot in Kampung Gusi that had cellular signal for Internet access at night

One of the students, a 16-year-old girl, fractured her leg while another male student suffered spinal injuries. They were both sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu for immediate treatment.

The other students, all aged between 15 and 18 years old, were admitted to Ranau district hospital for lighter injuries.

The villagers said that it had become a routine for these students to go to the bridge at night to follow their online classes.

"Internet connection in Kampung Gusi is poor, but it is better at night on the suspension bridge," said the school's Parent Teacher Association chairman Ratimin Kukunut.

The Deputy Chief Minister said that he will be monitoring the students' medical progress and will ask the government for money to rebuild the bridge

"Next week I will go to the village myself to check on the condition of the bridge," Joachim said, adding that he has sent officers to the Prime Minister's Office to ask for allocation.

"I hope that the villagers can be patient and strong through this while we rebuild the bridge. I offer them my sympathies and hope the injured students will recover soon."

In June, Sabahan student Veveonah Mosibin gained national attention after camping in a tree to take her university exams:

Many students in Malaysia still face difficulties with access to education:

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