Military helicopter slams into Sabah school

At least 17 people, including some students, were injured when a Royal Malaysian Air Force helicopter, carrying more than a dozen personnel on board, crashed into a school in Tawau, Sabah, yesterday.
At least 17 people, including some students, were injured when a Royal Malaysian Air Force helicopter, carrying more than a dozen personnel on board, crashed into a school in Tawau, Sabah, yesterday. PHOTO: SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

TAWAU • A military helicopter crashed into a school in the town of Tawau, Sabah, yesterday morning, leaving at least 17 people hurt, including several students, Malaysian media reported.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) helicopter was carrying 14 personnel on board when it crashed into the area between the canteen and a hall building under construction within the secondary school compound, the New Straits Times reported. Other reports, however, said there were 13 RMAF personnel on board the aircraft.

The paper said the aircraft clipped the roof of the school's main building before it lost altitude and crashed at about 9.35am.

The RMAF headquarters in Kuala Lumpur said the helicopter had been on a routine training flight.

Tawau police chief Fadil Marcus said the aircraft had taken off from Tawau airport, located about 10km from the school.

He said 14 RMAF personnel on board, including the pilots, were hurt, The Star reported.

There were conflicting reports about the number of students injured, with some saying at least four students had been hurt.

All those injured were rushed to a nearby clinic. Some of them were later transferred to the Tawau district hospital, The Star said. The school was closed temporarily after the crash.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has ordered the RMAF to carry out investigations, Bernama reported.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2016, with the headline 'Military helicopter slams into Sabah school'. Print Edition | Subscribe