Anguished parents of drowned students demand answers

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PETALING JAYA: The families of three students who drowned while attending a camping trip in Membakut, Beaufort, are still awaiting an official explanation over what happened that fateful day.

Although it has been nine days since the incident, the students’ parents say they have yet to receive even an apology from the school or the resort where the tragedies happened.

“We are not satisfied. No one has come forward to say sorry or explain what really happened to our children,” Norisham Purah said in a report by The Star.

On April 29, Norisham’s son, Norman Danial, and two other students – Hafiz Hamizan Rahman and Khuzaimi Zakaran – drowned while out trekking at Eco Lake Resort, some 90km from Kota Kinabalu.

Reports said the three boys had slipped into a deeper part of a stream and were later pulled out unconscious.

The Sabah Fire and Rescue Department said the three were brought to a nearby hospital but pronounced dead on arrival.

Norman and Hafiz were 16, while Khuzaimi was 17. They had been part of a leadership programme organised by their school, SMK Putatan, involving 119 students and 30 teachers.

Speaking at a press conference, Norisham told the daily that the families had received no updates from either the school authorities or the eco-resort’s management despite having lodged two police reports to date.

The initial report was lodged in Beaufort following the incident. The students’ families lodged the second report on Thursday.

The parents said that once they receive an official explanation, they will decide on the next course of action which will include hiring a lawyer to look into the matter, the daily added.

Beaufort police have reportedly classified the cases as sudden death.