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KUANTAN, 13 May 2017:
Two Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) students were killed and several were injured after a tree fell on them at the Lata Charok waterfall in Janda Baik here at 4am today.
According to a list released by police this afternoon, two students, Noorain Mohtar, 23, from Sungai Besar, Selangor, and Muhamad Kamil Md Sukri, 22, of Sabak Bernam, Selangor, were killed when a tree fell on the group of 140 students and four lecturers – who were taking part in a survival exercise near the waterfall.
Those who sustained minor injuries and received outpatient treatment at the Bentong Hospital are Abdul Muaz Abdul Razak, 22, from Kampung Merawan Indah, Ipoh, Perak; Mohd Ammar Affandi Ahmad Subki, 20, of Pendang Serai, Kedah; Nur Farah Izzatul Azira Md Fauzi, 20, from Kulai Johor; Farah Hanisah Hamdan, 22, from Parit Buntar, Perak and Ainin Sofea Abd Shukor, 21, from Benut, Johor
Muhammad Haziq Radzuan, 21, from Bandar Puncak Alam, Selangor – who was seriously injured – is receiving treatment at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
Bentong district police chief Supt Mohamad Mansor Mohd Nor said the group had arrived at the waterfall at 11.30pm and were about to take part in the survival activities at 5am when a tree fell and crushed the students.
The search and rescue team found Noorain’s body this morning while the body of Muhammad Kamil, who was reported missing was later found pinned under a big tree.
The incident happened very fast that the victims could not escape due to shock apart from darkness, said one of the victims.
Mohd Ammar Affandi Ahmad Subki, 20 – who broke his left leg in the incident – said he was cooking while others were asleep when it happened.
“There was no strong wind or rain, everything was good. However, suddenly we heard a loud noise like a broken twig before a large tree crushed us,” he told reporters at the Forensic Unit of the Bentong Hospital here.
Still traumatised and distraught, Mohammad Ammar Affandi said Noorain Mohtar, 23, from Sungai Besar, Selangor and Muhamad Kamil Md Sukri, 22, of Sabak Bernam, Selangor, were sleeping in their tents, when the accident happened, killing both of them.
” It was chaotic and dark as I tried to pull my feet that was trapped under the tree to try and save other friends. I didn’t even feel any pain then. We tried to save others but we couldn’t lift the tree trunk because it was just too big and heavy.”
Meanwhile, one of the trainers in charge of the programme said the site was often used as a camping area and other outdoor activities, without any untoward incident as it was situated close to chalets.
Zone II Fire and Rescue Supt Shahrin Yusmar Mat Yusof said the absence of Muhammad Kamil went unnoticed by the management of UiTM as well as his colleagues, until after the ‘head count’ at 7.30am at a clearing near the chalet, where all students had gathered.
“Immediately the search and rescue operation was carried out at the scene and after more than 4½ hours, one of the firefighters had found the victim at 12.15pm, pinned under the big tree.”
He said after nearly 2½ hours of hard work and various methods mobilised, the team managed to bring the body out at 1.44pm.
Meanwhile, Bentong police chief Supt Mohd Mansor Mohd Nor confirmed activities in the area were carried out without prior notification to either the police or the Forestry Department.