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Wednesday August 21, 2013 MYT 3:52:00 PM
Thursday August 22, 2013 MYT 12:56:27 AM
by nicholas cheng, t. avineshwaran, AND l. suganya
PETALING JAYA: Thirty-seven people were killed in the country's worst road tragedy, after a bus carrying 53 plunged into a 60m ravine near Genting Highlands around 2.45pm Wednesday.
The dead included 24 males and 13 females. Sixteen people were injured in the incident.
The 2.45pm accident happened when the ill-fated bus was descending a steep slope.
Fire and Rescue Department principal assistant director (Operations) Datuk Soiman Jahid said some 450 personnel from his department, the police and Civil Defence Department were involved in the search and rescue operation, which was finally called off at 10pm.
He said the cause of the accident had yet to be determined and that they had yet to interview witnesses.
"But the descent was very steep and if the bus was not controlled well, it could have skidded and plunged into the ravine. This is the initial assessment of the rescue team," he said.
He said the dead included the driver of the bus.
It is believed that the driver lost control of the bus, which then rammed a divider before plunging down the gorge.
Some of the passengers were flung from the bus during the incident.
According to the police, more than half the passengers on the bus were foreigners, from China, Bangladesh and Thailand
The bus was also overloaded as its capacity was 44 passengers, authorities said.
There were 18 ambulances sent to crash site, and the first arrived at the scene at 5pm. All 37 casualties died at the scene.
The 16 survivors comprised seven Malaysians, three Indonesians, four Bangladeshis, one Thai national, and one Korean.
Six are in critical condition, and one has been declared safe.
The accident occurred at KM36 of the Genting-Kuala Lumpur road, some two kilometres from the Chin Swee Caves Temple, as the bus carrying 53 people was coming down from Genting Highlands and heading towards Kuala Lumpur.
Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah and Bentong MP Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai were among those who arrived at the scene earlier in the evening and were briefed by authorities.
Earlier, rescuers worked frantically to reach people trapped in the bus. Some 30 policemen and nine ambulances were at the scene.
Traffic in the area was at a standstill as police ensured rescue vehicles could reach the scene of the accident.
Bentong OCPD Supt Mansor Mohd Noor confirmed the incident to The Star but could not give further details.
"I can confirm that there were passengers on the bus but how many there were I don't know yet.
"Authorities are en route to the site now," he said.
These are some of the accidents in the area over the years (Bernama report):
March 5, 2012: Two tourists from India died and 20 other passengers were injured when a tour bus overturned at KM4.5 of the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway while on the way back from Genting Highlands to Kuala Lumpur.
Oct 29, 2010: Seven people were killed and another 20 injured when a tourist bus skidded and overturned at Genting Sempah while descending from Genting Highlands.
Sept 2, 2010: Eighteen people were injured when a bus ferrying a group on a sightseeing tour skidded and overturned at KM35.1 of the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway while returning from Genting Highlands.
June 3, 2008: Two passengers of a tour bus died while 41 others were injured, including 17 seriously, when the vehicle skidded and plunged into a nine-metre ravine at KM22.5 of the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway.
Nov 20, 2006: Three officers of Provincial Electricity Authority of Thailand (PEA) were killed when a double-decker bus they were travelling in, overturned on their return from Genting Highlands at KM13 of Jalan Genting Highlands-Batang Kali.
Nov 14, 1999: A 12-year-old boy from Singapore died when a bus on its way to the republic from Genting Highlands fell into a ravine.
Dec 31, 1996: Thirty people were injured when a bus crashed into a ravine at KM4 Genting Highlands near the Chin Swee temple while on its way to Kuala Lumpur.
July 15, 1996: Seventeen people, including six children, died when the bus they were travelling in fell 100m into a ravine when returning from a family day celebration at Genting Highlands.
Tags / Keywords:
Bus, Accident, Ravine Genting Highlands
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