Singaporean student dies after falling off cliff in Australia
CHENG Shi Min, a Singaporean studying in Australia to be a teacher, died yesterday in a hospital, a day after she fell 20m down a waterfall in the Blue Mountains range some 100km west of Sydney, Australian newspapers reported.
The 21-year-old, known also as "Angel", was hiking with her boyfriend and father along the range's Valley of Waters, near the town of Wentworth Falls, when she slipped at Empress Falls about 1.30pm local time on Tuesday, reported the Daily Telegraph.
A rescue operation was launched to carry her out of the steep valley. She was rushed to Sydney's Westmead Hospital with head and chest injuries.
But Ms Cheng - who had been studying in Sydney's Macquarie University to be a primary school educator since early 2013 - was pronounced dead early yesterday.
The avid bushwalker had taken her boyfriend Harry Yendle and her father, who was on a visit from Singapore, on the Valley of the Waters walking track, which she had previously trekked solo, reported the Nine News television.
"Out alone hiking. It was awesome," she wrote on Facebook last year, attaching photos from the track, including several on Empress Falls.
"Compared with Katoomba, Wentworth Falls trails are much more dangerous. Like if I trip, that's it. I'm going to fall down the valley," she said, mentioning another nearby track.
Ms Cheng, who went to
CHIJ St Nicholas and Jurong Junior College where she studied for a year, also pointed out that the track was not well signposted.
Mr Yendle, who had been dating Ms Cheng for two months, told Fairfax Media that she was peering over the top of the Empress Falls when she lost her footing and fell.
"I ran down and yelled for them (other trekkers) to call an ambulance, before jumping in the water.
"I just wanted to get her head out of the water," he said.
"I couldn't pull her onto the ledge so her dad and a German couple helped to get her out.
"She was murmuring and really out of it, she was unconscious the entire time."
It took an hour for paramedics to arrive on foot as strong winds prevented a helicopter from winching her out.
Then, it took several more hours for her to be carried out of the bushland on a stretcher to the ambulance.
Ms Cheng recently wrote that it was a huge stress juggling school placement exercise with university lessons.
"This news is devastating. Angel will be very much missed by everyone who knew her," a woman, Jacqui, who attended university with Ms Cheng wrote online.
In 2008, a woman died after slipping from the track and her body was recovered from the bottom of Empress Falls, the Daily Telegraph noted.