Friday, February 28

Last two bodies of missing students recovered

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PENANG: The recovery of the bodies of two more students yesterday afternoon involved in a boat tragedy Sunday has taken to six the total death toll in the tragedy.

RECOVERED: Search and rescue team carrying the body of Brandon from the jetty. — Bernama photo

RECOVERED: Search and rescue team carrying the body of Brandon from the jetty. — Bernama photo

The bodies of Yong Xiang, 16, and Cheah Zi Jun, 17, were found close together at 4.15pm in the waters near Tanjung Marina pier, about one kilometre from the spot off Lebuh Macallum where the accident occurred, said a spokesman of the search-and-rescue (SAR) team.

The bodies of two other students, Brandon Yeoh, 17, and Goh Yi Zhang, 15, were found earlier yesterday, in the waters near the Raja Tun Uda ferry terminal and Tanjung Marina pier, respectively.

The SAR team recovered the bodies  of  student  Jason Ch’ng, 17, and teacher Chin Ai Fang, 28 on Sunday.

The Chung Ling High School teacher and the five students as well as 10 other students and two instructors were training for the Penang International Dragon Board Race scheduled for July in  Teluk Bahang  when their dragon boat capsized after being hit by a huge wave at 8.45am Sunday.

The tragedy occurred about 100 metres offshore Lebuh Macallum, in an area often used by schools for their weekly boat rowing exercises.

The Chung Ling High School dragon boat team had been training for almost an hour since 8am when it was  hit by the wave, the impact of which dashed the boat against a tugboat.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who visited the families of the students, said the school should attend to all the queries of the families so that they understood what had actually happened.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon visited the scene of the accident with Balik Pulau state assemblyman Datuk Seri Hilmi Yahaya.

Dr Koh extended his condolences to the families of those who drowned in the mishap and asked the state government to look into the safety aspect before designating an area as the venue of the dragon boat race.

The Gerakan president, who is a former student of the school, said he would meet with the school board, administration and principal on the tragedy. — Bernama