The Jakarta Post
A joint search and rescue (SAR) team scouring the Sembor River in Sleman, Yogyakarta, Central Java has recovered the bodies of the remaining two missing junior high school students who were swept away by a flash flood during a riverbank trek, bringing the total death toll from the incident to 10.
“We found the bodies around the Matras Dam, about 400 meters from where [the students were swept away in the flood],” SAR operations commander Asnawi said in a statement on Sunday.
The bodies were recovered in the early hours of Sunday and have since been taken to Bhayangkara Police Hospital in Yogyakarta for identification, he said.
“With the discovery of all victims, the SAR operation is now complete,” Asnawi said.
The incident occurred on Friday, when 249 seventh and eighth graders from Turi 1 junior high school went trekking along the banks of the Sembor River as part of a girl and boy scout activity. During the trek, the river suddenly flooded, sweeping away many of the students in the current.
The 10 fatalities were all female students, who were all wearing long skirts that made them especially prone to being dragged away by the strong currents, according to Yogyakarta National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) head L. Wahyu Efendi.
The Yogyakarta Police have named a physical education teacher at Turi 1 junior high school – who also served as a scout leader during the river-trekking lesson on Friday – a suspect for negligence. He was among seven scout leaders who were present during the incident. (rfa)