Crash kills silat masters


ALOR SETAR: Five silat masters were killed and four musicians injured after the van that they were travelling in skidded and crashed into a tree at Jalan Titi Haji Idris, about 15km from here.

The group, who were members of the Persatuan Persilatan dan Pergendangan Silat Kedah, was returning home to Pendang after performing silat at a wedding in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, on Sunday, when the accident occurred at about 3.30am yesterday.

Three silat masters died on the spot while two others died at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital.

The five are Jumaat @ Saad Mat Akir, 62, Juhari Darus, 65, Ahmad Ismail, 65, Sudin Deris, 65 and Ishak Awang Kechik @ Hanafiah, 78.

The four injured musicians are Che Ishak Hussin, 54, Arifin Mahazon, 56, and Mohd Idris Senafi, 20 and Ahmad's son Roshidi, 24, who was driving the van.

According to Mohd Idris, the group left Sungai Buloh on Sunday evening and had stopped in Tapah at about 11.30pm.

“I fell asleep when we resumed the journey and woke up at the hospital bed this morning,” he said.

Association president Haris Fazilah Ismail said 14 people including the five silat masters, exponents and musicians attended the wedding.

“Five of them went by car while the others were in a van,” he said.

He said Roshidi lost control of the van after trying to avoid an animal.

Pendang acting OCPD Asst Supt L. Pubadi said police had recorded Roshidi's statement, adding the case was being investigated under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 for reckless driving.

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