KUALA LUMPUR: The 43 passengers wanted to cap a happy holiday at Genting Highlands with a meal complete with abalone at a well-known restaurant here.
So instead of taking the usual Batang Kali route back to Ipoh, their tour bus proceeded towards the Karak Highway.
The decision left them with a traumatic experience as halfway down near Genting Sempah, the bus driver lost control of the vehicle which rammed into the side railings and plunged 30m into a ravine.
If it wasnt for the abalone, we wouldve taken the alternate route back to Ipoh, said a 65-year-old passenger who wished to be known as Mrs Chan at Kuala Lumpur Hospital where she was treated for cuts and bruises.
We were having a good holiday up there that is why we decided to have dinner with the rest of the passengers.
The group, comprising mostly women in their 60s and 70s, were returning to Ipoh after a two-day trip to the highlands.
Most of them were chit-chatting when the bus ran into trouble at 5.30pm.
Chan said the bus started to swerve suddenly.
All of us were thrown forward as the bus started to roll down the slope.
Thank God, the bus got stuck in the mud, stopping it from sliding down further. All the passengers were screaming and shouting for help.
When the bus stopped, we crawled our way out through the back window, which was already broken. Many of us did not have the strength to come out of the bus and climbed the steep slope. Luckily, some Good Samaritans helped pull us out with ropes, she said.
Another passenger, Choo Loke Lan, said her legs became weak and numb and she had to be carried out of the bus.
The bus was going fast and it seemed like the brakes were not working. The next thing I knew, there was a loud noise as the bus went down the ravine. I was so scared, said the 73-year old woman, who sustained cuts, bruises and a swollen eye.