Over 20 Children In Sabah Nearly Drown As Boat To School Suddenly Flips And Sinks

The children were between the ages of six and 12.

Cover image via Astro Awani

More than 20 children on their way to school nearly drowned when the boat they were riding suddenly flipped over in the middle of a river

Harian Metro reported that the incident took place on Tuesday, 8 September, at Sungai Labuk near Kampung Tembidong-Bidong.

Around 6.30am in the morning, the victims, aged six to 12 years old, were on their way from Kampung Tembidong-Bidong to Sekolah Kebangsaan Perancangan.

Image via Astro Awani

The boat ride to school usually takes only five to ten minutes but water suddenly filled the boat, causing it to sink

According to Astro Awani, the situation turned chaotic as a number of the children did not know how to swim.

One of the victims, Siti Nurashurah Alin Zurani, said that she was sitting at the front of the boat when water started filling it up before it flipped over. 

"Water got inside the boat. Luckily, I know how to swim. I swam towards the sinking boat to hold on to it. After that, someone came to save us," she said.

"We held on to the boat for about five minutes. All our bags drifted away but we managed to recover a few."

Image via Astro Awani

Meanwhile, a man said that two of his children were involved in the incident and are now traumatised and terrified of taking a boat to school.

"Many of us were home during the incident but we heard the children screaming from the river. After that, we went straight to the place where it happened and all the children were floating in the water when we arrived," he said.

One resident who was in another boat jumped into the water and saved the children

45-year-old Hamzah Sahi told Harian Metro, "My brother-in-law and I saw the boat flip over. Some of the children held on to the boat but some were drifted away by the current. We quickly rescued them and took them to the riverbank."

He also added that a child's leg was stuck to a trawl while another student was out of air.

Thankfully, there were no deaths or serious injuries reported.

Hamzah Sahi showing where the incident took place.

Image via Harian Metro

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