Monday, May 23

Poor upkeep leads to disaster


S E E I N G F O R THEMSELVES: Abit (second left) and others inspect the extent of the damage to the school hostel.

KAPIT: 18 pupils injured when primary school hostel built in 1983 collapses in Punan Ba.

Five primary school girls sustained serious injuries and another 13 had minor fractures when the wooden hostel of SK Punan Ba collapsed at about 8.15pm on Jan 31.

The incident occurred shortly after the students had attended private study in the school and were waiting for the door to the hostel to open.

Headmaster Dan Bira said the ramshackle hostel built in 1983 had been earmarked for renovation.

“Now we have no choice but to temporarily shelter these pupils in two of the teacher’s quarters.”

Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Billy Abit Joo, accompanied by Kapit Resident Dahim Nadot and Belaga District Education Officer Nelson @ Milon Saing, went to the school last Thursday to see for themselves the extent of damage.

He later handed over a RM10,000 grant to the school’s Parent-Teacher Association to carry out repair work in the school.

“I am saddened by what had happened. Safety of the pupils should always be given priority. I hope such an incident will not happen again in future,” Abit said.