Thursday, September 28

Fire, bomb force two Kudat schools to close


The bomb, believed to be a World War II relic, found near a school in Kudat.

KOTA KINABALU: A fire and the discovery of a World War II air bomb caused two primary schools in Kudat to temporarily close yesterday.

The closure of the two schools – SK Karakit in Pulau Banggi and SJKC Lok Yuk in Pinangsoo – affected 42 teachers and 393 students.

Sabah state education (JPNS) director, Mistirine Radin, said of the number, 29 teachers and 283 pupils were from SK Karakit, where a fire razed the school’s administrative building and two blocks of teachers’ quarters, on Sunday.

“The department (JPNS) went to SK Karakit today to see the available remaining space so that teaching and learning activities can commence as soon as possible,” she said when contacted by Bernama, here, yesterday.

Besides the teachers’ quarters, the fire that started at 3.26pm also wiped out 81 homes nearby.

A total of 303 people were affected, and placed at temporary shelters at SK Karakit, Sekolah Agama Negeri Karakit and Pulau Banggi district office’s rest house.

Meanwhile, SJKC Lok Yuk was closed following the discovery of a World War II air bomb near the school, yesterday.

Mistirine said police have advised for the school to be closed pending an operation to destroy the bomb yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah, said the World War II (WW2) bomb was discovered by a man cleaning an area near the school in Kudat on January 12 and reported by 2pm on the same day.

“The complainant and his friend had gone to the area and found a metal object measuring three feet, suspected to be a bomb. The bomb was believed to have been dropped by the Japanese bombers in WW2 but did not explode,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

Omar said a team from the bomb disposal unit have been dispatched to take further action. According to him, the bomb has been moved and would be detonated at a different area for public safety.

“We are awaiting a report from the disposal unit on whether or not the bomb is still active. Earlier, it was reported that the bomb was still in good condition although it had rusted. We are just unsure if the explosives in the bomb are still active,” he added.