Students cry for help

IT is an experience none of us would want to go through.

Teacher Ilisoni Tagivetaua clambered onto the Taunovo Bus to rescue his students and will never forget their bloodied faces and their cries for help.

A bus carrying representatives of the Serua Kaji rugby team, who were returning home after competing in the Fiji Primary Schools Kaji Rugby Tournament, veered off the road near Pacific Harbour in an accident that left a woman dead. They were only minutes from reaching their homes.

Mr Tagivetaua was travelling in another bus that was following close behind.

“I was lost for a while. A few seconds later I realised it was real,” he told this newspaper at the CWM Hospital in Suva yesterday.

“I couldn’t believe this had happened. The children were happy taking the Bowl back to Serua and whatever happened was beyond explanation.

“All I could hear was children’s cries. ‘Master, please help us, Master please save us’.

“When I ran to them, all I could see were my Kaji children covered in blood.”

He said drivers of passing vehicles stopped to help them.

“Behind me, a child with a broken ankle crawling towards me, begging for help. Just when I was about to pull him up, the crowd screamed to warn me. I turned only to see a driver who had offered to help got shocked by a fallen powerline that landed right on the bus.”

Mr Tagivetaua took the man to the Navua hospital.

“This is unfortunate but it has happened. All we can do now is pray,” he said.

Mr Tagivetaua said some students were treated and discharged from Navua hospital. The serious cases were transferred to CWM Hospital.

He assured parents and supporters that despite the accident, the 50 children survived.

Five students and two officials were being attended to at the Accident and Emergency unit at CWM Hospital when this edition went to press last night.

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