6-yr-old girls crushed to death by reversing car
Bandar Seri Begawan - Two close friends, both six, died yesterday in tragic circumstances plunging their families in utter grief in the midst of Hari Raya celebrations in the country.
The two primary school students from Mabohai Primary School were crushed to death as one of the teachers of the school reversed her vehicle and pinned the two victims to the wall during recess at around 10am.
Even in death, the two - Nurulfatin Nabillah Zamain and Nabilah Farhana Hj Abd Rahim - were inseparable as eyewitnesses described them collapsed while holding their hands together. One of them reportedly died on the spot while the other succumbed to her injuries at RIPAS Hospital.
The 40-year-old local woman teacher will be charged under a road traffic act but has not been detained, the police said.
The Minister of Education, Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, along with the Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education and officers from the ministry participated in mass prayers to pay their final respects to the deceased at the residences of both families in Kg Katok and Kg Rimba.
The minister said that everyone is saddened by the incident, and extended his deepest condolences to both families.
He also spoke on behalf of the teacher who reversed her vehicle into the students, saying the incident was not intentional.
"Only God knows the truth and all we can do is pray that both of them will rest in peace," he said after the prayers at the residence of the late Nurulfatin Nabillah.
According to an eyewitness who spoke to the police, the two girls were on their way back to class from the canteen through a pathway on the side of the school building, which all the students take to go to the canteen when suddenly the teacher who reversed the vehicle called for help.
"That was when we realised what had happened," the eyewitness added.
"Looking at both the victims, they seemed to have suffered serious injuries most probably to their head and body area," said the eyewitness.
The scene of the incident showed pool of blood close to the wall where the two victims were crushed by the reversing SUV. A broken vase and fragments of broken taillight were also seen.
The police received a call at 10.35am, and both victims were rushed to RIPAS Hospital by ambulance.
Nurulfatin Nabillah's sixth birthday would have been today (September 7). Her class teacher, Hjh Hamidah Hj Awg Basar, was already planning a birthday celebration with her classmates in the classroom.
According to her mother, Masnoyah Hj Samsudin, she noticed an odd request from Nurulfatin who asked for one dollar from her mother which was part of the collection for her birthday celebration in school.
"I gave her the money, along with some packets of rice yesterday. She usually would only bring water with her to school," she said.
Her class teacher Hjh Hamidah said Nurulfatin was a bright student who was always active and took part in class activities.
Meanwhile, according to the sister of Nabilah Farhana, they shared a special bond at home.
"We are sisters and brothers, but we are friends with each other as well, especially with our mother," she said.
Nabilah Farhana was the youngest of 11 siblings, and had always been the most playful amongst all. Enrolled into the school earlier this year, her father used to send her to school every day.
Just the previous night before the incident, the family had organised a Hari Raya open house for family and friends. Nabilah Farhana's sister-in-law noted that she was her usual playful self and had even taken a lot of photos during the event.
The family of the late Nabilah Farhana was described as cheerful that always welcomes friends and neighbours to their house, said one of the neighbours.
Meanwhile, the principal of the school expressed his sadness and offered his deepest condolences to the families of the two students. He said he would pray for Nurulfatin Nabillah and Nabilah Farhana to have a place in heaven.
He said he was shocked upon finding out about the incident.
Nurulfatin Nabillah was buried at the Sungai Panga Islamic Cemetery, while Nabilah Farhana was laid to rest at the Kianggeh Cemetery.
News of the incident was all over social media sites and many also extended their condolences to both families.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin