2 students from the Escuela Mexico drown in the Macal River
A field trip ended tragically this afternoon; two students from Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in the Corozal District have drowned in the Macal River. The body of Edgar Pook was the first to be retrieved at around four-forty-five, while the body of the female student was recovered approximately an hour later. The drowning victims were among a group of students on a class trip to the Che Chem Ha Cave in Benque Viejo. They set out early this morning from the school and had finished a day of hiking at the cave. It was on their way back that they stopped near the low lying bridge in the Twin Town of San Ignacio and Santa Elena to take a swim in the river. But unfortunately, the two went under and did not resurface. For the past two weeks, water levels in the Macal have been fairly low, but today, it fluctuated causing strong currents. The scene at the river bank is filled with grief as students and teachers mourn the loss of their friends and classmates and find comfort among each other. A team of tour guides, police and other residents searched for the missing students. Deputy O.C. of San Ignacio Police, Inspector Reymundo Reyes, spoke with News Five a few minutes ago.
Via Phone: Insp. Reymundo Reyes, Deputy O.C., San Ignacio Police Formation
Via Phone: Insp. Reymundo Reyes
“The information is that sometime around four P.M. information received at the station that a male person and a female was swimming on the Macal River, that would be close to the board bridge that link San Ignacio and Santa Elena. And apparently the current got them and they disappeared under the water. Based on that police visited the area and minutes after the body of the male person was retrieved from the water , we attempt to do CPR on him but apparently it was too late, so he was immediately transported to the Hospital morgue here in San Ignacio and about an hour after the body of the female was also retrieved from the water and both seem to have drowned. At this point I do not want to release the name of the student. They are both students from the Escuela Secondaria Mexico from Corozal district but I believe we need to inform the parents first.”
“In speaking with the teachers or the other adults on this trip, what are they saying in terms of what may have transpired?”
Via Phone: Insp. Reymundo Reyes
“Well the purpose of the trip was to visit a ruin here in the Cayo district but on the way back they decided to stop and let the students eat or something and so forth but at the same time some of them decided to get into the water.
Fourth form students from Escuela Mexico in Corozal were on a school trip to San Ignacio today and with the heat on, some of the students went for a swim in the Macal River by the wooden bridge connecting the twin towns.
However, something went wrong and two of them drowned.
Our Cayo affiliate, Kent Pandy, spoke to one of the men who assisted in the recovery of the 17 year old male’s body.
At the time of the time of the interview, the female had still not been found
Witness 1: “We just hear the lee gial dih cry and ting like that and then we just jumped in side and thing, and then, when we just start diving and ting, we find one ah dih bally, but we no find the gial and then we tek ah out.
Witness 2: “Deh mih di sit dong anda da tree rite deh!”
Reporter Pandy: “Then, you and who?”
Witness 1: “Da me and wa next bally tek ah out. But then we try pump ah and ting and still, nothing. E don mih dead already“.
Reporter Pandy: “Did you see two of them or only one?”
Witness 1: “Just one ah them we see, but then, we still jump eeana wata fih try find the adda one. We still no find ah”.
Reporter Pandy: “The man was in his twenties or…?”
Witness 1: “Da sixteen; da lone fourth Formers from Corozal”.
This evening, the body of the female student was retrieved from the river after a number of divers kept searching.
The families of the victims have all been notified and the bodies have been transported to the morgue.
Families, friends and classmates of the students have been hit hard by today’s tragedy.