Attack in Nice: Singaporean, Malaysian SUTD student are among those injured

Attack in Nice: Singaporean, Malaysian SUTD student are among those injured

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is providing assistance to both a Singaporean and a third-year Malaysian student at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) who are among those injured in an attack in France, it said.

SINGAPORE: A Singaporean is among those who were injured in an attack during France's Bastille Day celebrations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement on Friday (Jul 15).

At least 84 were killed after a truck ploughed into a crowd in the French resort of Nice following a fireworks display.

The ministry added that the injuries of the Singaporean, who was not registered with MFA, are not life-threatening and that it was in close contact with his family.

"The Singapore Embassy in Paris has dispatched an officer to Nice to provide consular assistance to the Singaporean and his family," a spokesperson said.

MFA added that it was also aware of and helping a third-year Malaysian student at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), who was injured in the same attack.

In a statement earlier on Friday, SUTD said the injured student is in stable condition in the hospital and in contact with his parents.

The student was identified as Mr Esmond Chuah by his father, Mr Chuah Tze Leng, who posted a Facebook appeal for an update of his son's condition after receiving news that he was hurt in the attack. "Please find my son Esmond Chuah Hooi Ong (SUTD Singapore)," he wrote. "Wish to know his condition now."

The university added that he is among the 12 SUTD students currently in Nice for a three-week summer programme, and that the other 11 students are safe and accounted for.

In another Facebook post about eight hours later, the elder Chuah said his son has contacted him on the phone. He wrote: "My son managed to call me this evening. He is OK but hospitalised due to a fracture (in) his back.

"He was hit by the side of the white truck which carried firearms and grenades and luckily that did not explode. (The) hospital CT scan also showed trauma in his lung and stomach. I would like to say thank you for your help and kind support. Thank you again."

In response to queries from Channel NewsAsia, SUTD said that of the 12 students, seven are Singaporeans and two are Permanent Residents. In addition to the Malaysian student, there was also one Vietnamese and one Indonesian national. The summer programme started on Jul 3.

Channel NewsAsia understands that not all 12 students were at Promenade des Anglais, where the accident took place. The 12 students booked different flight timings and will return at their own time.

Said SUTD President, Professor Thomas Magnanti: “We are in contact with all relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, embassies and working with the International SOS to provide on-ground support and counselling.

“We are also doing all we can to support and update the students and their parents. The other 11 students have been advised to remain in their hostel and pay attention to the safety instructions of the French authorities.”

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the attack, calling it a “heinous attack”, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan Keng Yam sent their condolences to their French counterparts.

Acting Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung also responded to the incident. "I am shocked and dismayed by the latest terrorist attack in Nice," he wrote on his Facebook page.

Added Mr Ong: "As part of international exposure, students go overseas for visits, internships and community work. This is an important part of their education and something that we must continue to do. Even as we do so, we must stay vigilant. Terror can strike anytime and anywhere, whether at home or abroad, let's always take care of one another."

Of the injured SUTD student, Mr Ong wrote: "We wish him a swift recovery and a safe trip home."

Source: CNA/xk/mz