Two of their students drowned in Macal while on school trip to the caves
The fourth form students of the Escuela Mexico High School, of San Roman, Corozal, who were on a school tour to the Che Chem Ha Caves in the Cayo District, are mourning the death of two of their classmates who drowned while swimming in the Macal River near the low wooden bridge in San Ignacio, at about 3:30 Friday afternoon. The students had stopped at the Macal River to refresh themselves before travelling back to Corozal.
Anahi Zepeda, 15, of San Joaquin Village, and Edgar Puck, 16, of Patchakan, Corozal District, and other students were in the water near the wooden bridge when Zepeda was dragged down by the river currents.
Puck went to help her, but both of them were sucked down by the strong undercurrent.
People who saw what was happening jumped in to try to help. Puck was found shortly after under the water. CPR was administered, but it was too late.
Puck was then taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.
A further search by tour guides, police officers and people of the area was conducted and the body of Zepeda was found about an hour later in the general area where they went down. She was also taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where she also was declared dead on arrival.
However, there are allegations that at the time the students went into the river, excess water in a dam had been released without prior warning, allowing the water to rush down into the Macal River, which caused a strong current that caught the students off-guard.
Reports are that the water levels of the Macal have been low for the past two weeks, but on Friday, it rose suddenly, causing strong currents.
The school reported that the schoolmates of the deceased students are receiving counseling support by counselors from other schools, as a student body, as a class and individually to help them with their grief.
Amandala was unsuccessful in its efforts to get a comment from the dam’s operators concerning the allegation.