Three Singaporeans have lost their lives in a tragic rental camper van crash in the South Island of New Zealand, authorities confirmed on Tuesday. The incident happened on 17 April, and the victims have been identified as Sherwin Chong Shi Yun and Yang Xinyue, both aged 21, and Vincent Lim Jia Jun, aged 24.
According to a statement released by the New Zealand Police, the van had crashed into a barrier at the intersection of Te Moana Road and State Highway 79 near the small town of Geraldine, before catching fire at around 1 am. One of the victims had called for emergency services after the accident, and a member of the public had also alerted Hato Hone St John Ambulance.
Eleven volunteer firefighters had responded to the incident, which Graeme Mould, the Volunteer Fire Brigade chief, described as “one of the most severe” he had ever attended. Investigations into the crash are still ongoing.
The group of three had rented the camper van from a company based in Canterbury, according to The New Zealand Herald. The newspaper also reported that the severity of the accident was traumatic for the responders, with many of them having never attended a crash of that magnitude before.
The New Zealand Police extended their deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims in their statement. The names of the victims have been released after authorities notified their families.
According to Today’s reports, the three individuals who lost their lives in the tragic road accident in New Zealand’s South Island on April 17 were undergraduates from the National University of Singapore (NUS), the university confirmed. Responding to queries from TODAY on Tuesday (May 9), NUS expressed deep sorrow over the unfortunate incident and extended their full support to the families of the victims during this difficult time.
Although NUS did not disclose any details about the purpose of the students’ visit to New Zealand or whether they were on an exchange programme, it expressed solidarity with their families and loved ones.
Investigations into the incident are still ongoing, as confirmed by the police.
Images : Screengrabs from NZ Herald.
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