Nuri crashes on school
> 8 students, cleaner and 14 RMAF personnel injured
TAWAU: Eight students, one cleaner and 14 Royal Malaysian Air Force personnel were injured after a Nuri helicopter crashed into the roof of a school in Balung, in Tawau, Sabah, about 40km from the city centre yesterday morning.
The Education Ministry said two other students were traumatised by the incident and will be given counselling.
“Six students were allowed to go home after receiving outpatient treatment,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the school will be closed for two days to allow investigators to carry out their duties and to clean up the crash site.
The ministry said SMK Balung school’s canteen, a hall under construction and the roof of a three-storey building were damaged in the incident.
The ministry added that the school was a two-session school with 1,666 students and 116 teachers
Tawau district police chief ACP Fadil Marcus said police were still in the process of gathering information on the incident.
Fadil said the pilot, who was pinned inside the wreckage, was the last victim to be sent to Tawau hospital.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said he was relieved that none of the aircrew and students suffered serious injuries.
He said on Twitter that he had ordered air force chief Tan Sri Roslan Saad to keep a close eye on the investigation, adding that Roslan and Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Johari Baharum will be visiting the injured.
A RMAF statement said the helicopter had taken off from Tawau airport, about 10km from the school, at 7.45am with 14 personnel on board for a routine training flight.
“The helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at 9.35am and all 14 crew members aboard are safe and receiving treatment for their injuries,” the RMAF said.
It said the air force had sent a rescue team to the school to ascertain what had occurred and to help control the scene of the crash before removing pieces of the wreckage.
The air force added that they were studying the scene of the crash before taking further action.
It said an investigative committee had been formed to look into the cause of the crash.
About 40 Nuri helicopters were purchased in the 1960s and the air force had planned to phase out the use of the aging Nuri fleet by 2012 but due to the lack of funds, this programme has yet to be carried out.
The crash of the Nuri is the 19th in 40 years and a total of 95 people have died in these crashes.
The damaged school building after the copter crash yesterday.
A Nuri helicopter similar to the one that crashed.