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Thursday August 22, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday August 22, 2013 MYT 10:57:44 AM
BENTONG: Suriardi Budiarto, 52, had been looking forward to bringing back wonderful memories from his first visit to the Genting Highlands resort.
Instead, it all turned into a nightmare when the bus he was travelling in plunged into the ravine.
“The bus was not speeding, but when it approached the temple, it lost its brakes. It kept picking up speed and everyone was screaming in fear.
“There was a lorry in front and the bus driver had to swerve to avoid it and lost control,” he said.
Suriardi blacked out during the plunge and woke up to find that he had been flung a few metres from the bus.
The brother-in-law of the bus driver known only as Ong said the family had been anxious to know of the fate of Lim Kok Ho after he failed to answer his phone.
“We got to know of the news and rushed here to find out if my brother-in-law is alive,” he said when met outside KL Hospital mortuary.
He said Lim, who lives in Pandan Indah, Ampang, has several years’ experience as a bus driver.
Lim is confirmed dead.
Faisal Rashid, 24, was looking for his father Rashid Jantan, 61, an assistant security manager at the hill resort for the last 35 years.
He said his father would usually return home by 4pm at the latest after his shift ends at 2pm.
“My father takes the bus to work daily. I couldn’t call him. My mother told me to wait at the hospital as soon as she heard about the crash, but his name was not found there.
“Right now, I can only surrender to God and hope for the best,” he added.
A group of youths were looking for their friend who had gone up Genting for a short holiday.
A woman, who wanted to be known only as Eng, said her 19-year-old friend called her at 2pm saying that she was boarding a bus.
When Eng heard of the accident, she called her friend but failed to reach her.
“We hope she is all right,” she said.
HKL emergency and trauma department head Datuk Seri Dr Abu Hassan Asaari Abdullah said six survivors were being warded at the hospital for treatment and further supervision.
He said five of them are males and another a 19-year-old girl.
Eight victims were brought to the Selayang Hospital, three of them in critical condition.
Two of the injured were sent to Sungai Buloh Hospital.
South Korean tourist Kam Yong Ko, 60, suffered an injury to his left eye and internal bleeding. He is reported to be in stable condition.
Another victim Nor Maizatul Shazana, 23, was travelling with her male friend in his 20s. Her father, Saharuddin Saidin, 53, a lorry driver, said his daughter suffered a fracture on the left leg while the friend was treated at KL Hospital for a fractured right leg.
“My daughter called me from her mobile phone at about 4pm and said her bus had crashed into a ravine and she was still stuck inside,” he said.
He added that she told him that the bus was travelling fast as it came down the slope.
“The bus first crashed into a side wall before it rammed into another wall and plunged into the ravine. My daughter held on to her seat for dear life before the bus finally came to a stop.
“Looking at the number of people who died, I thank God she is alive,” he said.
All the bodies of the victims have been brought to Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) for post-mortem.
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