KAMPAR, 27 Oct 2009: The search and rescue operation following the collapse of a suspension bridge across the Kampar River at a school in Kuala Dipang near here has been extended 15km downriver.
Kampar police chief Supt Abdul Aziz Salleh said the rescuers were looking for two primary schoolgirls who went missing after the bridge collapsed at 10:30pm yesterday as pupils participating in a camp were crossing it.
The two pupils have been identified as Diryasree a/p Vasudevan, 12, of Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) Gopeng, and Davadharshini a/p Maheswaran, 11, of SJKT Mambang Di Awan near here.
Another schoolgirl of SJKT Mambang Di Awan, Dina Deve a/p Nathan, 11, drowned in the incident. Her body was recovered from the river at 8:40am today.
Abdul Aziz said the Kampar River was swift-flowing, but the rescuers would continue with their search until they found the two girls.
Abdul Aziz said the police had received a report that a teacher was assaulted by the father of a pupil early today.
The bridge, built about two weeks ago to replace an old one that had collapsed, gave way when between 30 and 50 pupils were on it, some on their way to the school from the campsite for dinner, and others returning to the campsite after their meal.
The pupils were among 298 pupils from 64 primary schools in Tronoh, Batu Gajah and Kampar enlisted to participate in a 1Malaysia camp organised by the Kinta Selatan District Education Department.
Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who visited the scene today, has ordered the setting-up of a committee to probe the bridge collapse.
A villager said the way the bridge was constructed had given rise to questions, especially pertaining to the size of the base concrete block, which did not match the metal pillars that held the cables.
In KOTA KINABALU, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan said the commission was prepared to conduct a probe should there be elements of irregularity in the construction of the bridge. — Bernama