By Edwin O. Fernandez
KIDAPAWAN CITY, (PNA) — A disaster management training turned out to be disastrous for a 20-year-old student who drowned and died during training Sunday amid heavy downpour in North Cotabato.
Ritchel Impas, student of University of Southern Mindanao-Kidapawan City campus, was declared dead on arrival at a hospital in Kidapawan City.
Impas was among the 10 students undergoing disaster management training by the Sandawa Apo Mountaineering and Ecology Club in Barangay Bantac, Magpet, North Cotbato when the freak accident happened.
North Cotabato had experience a day-long moderate to heavy downpour Sunday.
Also hospitalized were Jejomar Dikdikin, 24, student of USM-Kabacan.
Police in Magpet said the victims were conducting water training at the Kabacan river when the water level suddenly rose and carried away the students.
The rampaging waters hit the unsuspecting trainees as others managed to rush to safer area.
Seven of them were carried away while five others were quickly rescued by their training officers.
It was learned that the training participants have no parental consent.
Police in Magpet have warned the public against holding activities in the highly dangerous Kabacan River.
Previous freak accidents have occurred in the river which is very inviting to nature lovers.
The heavy downpour in North Cotabato Sunday also led to flooding in low lying communities in the province.