Tanjong Katong Primary School (TKPS) school prefect Chantal Phuay was part of a group of 29 TKPS pupils on a trip to Mount Kinabalu. Just before Chantal’s group was about to start on the Ferrata route, the earth began to shake uncontrollably.

According to her, “rocks fell. Everyone started gathering. Then a rock or tree fell on us and everything went pitch black. Maybe I fainted, I have no idea.”

When she finally regained consciousness, she followed instructions to move down the mountain. Despite her wobbly legs, she was only worried about getting down and if she could ever see her parents another time. When she reached base camp, they did a headcount and discovered who was missing. Chantal felt a sense of guilt that she did not help out and simply followed the teacher’s commands to escape.

When surviving TKPS pupils see one another at their schoolmates’ funeral wakes, they comfort one other. Chantal added that “one day, I’ll go to Mount Kinabalu and try it again just to ensure that the TKPS spirit continues.”

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