KOTA KINABALU: Eight teachers were airlifted back to their school in two chartered helicopters over the weekend after their plight was highlighted on social media.A massive flood had recently destroyed three bridges, resulting in them having to endure an 18-hour hike to school.

The 30km journey from Nabawan town has been accessible only by foot due to the muddy roads and paths following the flood.

Moved by their plight, members of the public took to social media, urging the authorities to intervene and assist the affected teachers.

They were supposed to resume their duties this week after returning from Keningau for the Hari Raya school holidays.

Pensiangan MP Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup said he had hired the two helicopters to send the eight teachers back to Nabawan.

“After sending the teachers back to SK Pangaraan, we also assisted six villagers who needed urgent medical treatment.

“Since both helicopters were empty, we decided to help them out as well,” he said, adding that his officers rushed the patients to Hospital Keningau as soon as the helicopters landed.

Land routes in the interior Nabawan district, which sits close to the Sabah-Kalimantan border, are still cut off by floods.

Repairs are currently underway.

Besides the teachers, some of the pupils also used bamboo rafts and zip-lines to cross the river to get to their school.

Repairs to the damaged bridges leading to SK Nangkawangan and SK Layon in the Nabawan district have started following a delay due to the festive and public holidays.