Student Amal Ashley Lim, 12, said keeping calm as the rocks rained down on her group near the summit saved her life. A teacher bundled her and several other students under a shallow overhang for protection.
They watched helplessly as some of her other schoolmates were struck by the falling rocks. She said that the teacher who helped her granddaughter was injured, with blood on her hands. According to her, this teacher is still in Sabah.
Ashley was among 29 students and eight teachers from the Tanjung Katong Primary School in Singapore who trekked up the mountain.
She was among the first in the group to complete the trek at about 7.15am. “That’s when everything started shaking,” she said.
As they sheltered under the overhang, her friend started crying. “I did my best to calm her.
When a teacher who went to look for the others did not come back after 15 minutes, Ashley started shouting for help.
Her cries were heard by their guide James Michael who led her and her friends to safety.
Ashley’s uncle, Mr Hafiz Ahmad, 43 said the family was there because Ashley’s mother, who was not identified, was there by herself. Her husband is overseas.
Mr Hafiz said: “One of the reasons Ashley is alive is because a teacher pushed her under an overhang.
“My niece is distraught right now. She suffered hypothermia. Other than that, there are no other serious injuries.”