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Yesterday, An RMAF Copter Crashed Into A School In Sabah. Here's What Happened

Panicked students and teachers ran for their lives as parts of the building collapsed.

Cover image via MY Lahad Datu

Yesterday, 4 October, a Nuri helicopter, owned by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), crashed into a school in Tawau while trying to make an emergency landing, according to RMAF.

Image via MY Lahad Datu

Carrying 14 personnel, the helicopter was equipped with weapons

According to Bernama, after taking off from its base at 7.35am, the Nuri helicopter crashed at about 8.53am in the compound of SMK Balung while lessons were going on.

The pilot, who was pinned inside the wreckage and believed to have sustained serious injuries, was sent to Tawau Hospital. Other 13 personnel were also injured.

While students were injured, no one was fatally harmed in the crash

Although, the exact number of injured students is not available, based on several news reports, at least 5 students sustained injuries in the incident.

In the crash, the helicopter clipped the roof of the main school building and one of its rotor blades was flung about 200 metres away from the scene, reported Bernama.

Image via MY Lahad Datu

The SMK Balung has 1,678 students and 116 teachers. It was reported that after the crash, which had left some students feeling traumatised, the school has been closed for two days.

Following the crash, the police, Fire and Rescue Department and other agencies such as the Civil Defence Forces and Tawau Hospital opened operations control centres at the school to facilitate supervision works, according to Tawau District Police Chief Assistant Commissioner Fadil Marsus.

He said the state Education Department was also involved in the supervision works in the incident that damaged a three-storey building, the living skills centre and a hall under construction inside the SMK Balung premises.

According to a teacher, he recalled a thunderous crashing sound near the staff room.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has directed the RMAF to set up a board of inquiry to evaluate and analyse the incident

Following which, a board of inquiry was formed, said RMAF Chief General Tan Sri Roslan Saad. He said a special team will also look into certain aspects to determine how the helicopter ended up crashing into the school building.

"We expect to bring the fuselage and other components of the aircraft out of the school within the next few days. We will afterwards evaluate and analyse the main cause of the emergency landing and take action from there," NST quoted him as saying.

A brief history about Nuri

In service since 1968, the Nuri helicopters have been involved in 15 separate incidents in which 89 crew members have been killed so far.

In 2007, then-Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Najib Razak had announced that the Nuri helicopter would be phased out by 2012.

Back in August, a plane was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines caught fire following a 'bird strike':

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