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Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 7:42:55 AM
Grief and sadness : Relatives conducting prayer rituals for the crash victims near the scene of the bus crash at Genting Highlands Thursday.
GENTING HIGHLANDS: It was a tough day for bus drivers plying the route to Genting Highlands a day after the horrific bus crash that killed 37 and injured 16.
Nervous passengers clutching newspapers with photos of the rescue operations were incessantly questioning their drivers on the safety of their vehicles.
“I checked the brakes and the tyres. Don’t worry, I have done this many times,” a bus driver was overheard telling his passengers.
The man, in his early 30s, drives for the same company that owns the ill-fated bus that plunged into a ravine on Wednesday.
“Accidents like that happen rarely compared to the number of trips we make. When it happens, it’s usually because the bus was not checked properly or because it was overcrowded. Sometimes, it’s just bad luck,” said the driver of 15 years who did not want to be named.
He acknowledged that overcrowding of buses on the Genting route was common.
“Sometimes, the bus would be so packed that people would sit on the steps. You cannot blame me for it. I don’t sell the tickets,” he said.
However, another driver who gave his name as Haflizam, said some vehicles had permits which allowed up to 18 standing passengers, in addition to those seated.
Another bus driver who gave his name as Andy said it was usually the older drivers who would skip checks on their bus.
“Some know the road up and down very well. Sometimes, they drive fast to save time, with some bragging they can reach the bottom of the hill in 20 minutes,” he said.
At the bus terminal, sales consultant David Lee, 59 who travels to Genting regularly, said news of the accident did worry him but there was no choice but to trust their drivers.
“Many times I’ve been in a bus that was speeding or overcrowded. But this is still the cheapest way. You have to risk it. What to do?”
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