Wednesday, August 21, 2013
An express bus carrying 49 passengers has plunged 30 metres into a ravine, some 2km from the Chin Swee Caves Temple en route to Kuala Lumpur near Genting Highlands resort today.Rescuers have so far pulled out 16 people and one body from the wreckage.Two rescue personnels using a crane to get down into the ravine in order to bring the victims up.
Thirty-seven people died in a horrific bus crash near mountain resort Genting Highlands today, in what is arguably the worst road accident involving an express bus in recent years.
Citing Fire and Rescue Department deputy director-general Datuk Soiman Jahid, The Star Online reported that the dead were among 53 passengers who were on board the bus when it plunged down a thirty meter ravine at around 3pm.
Soiman confirmed that 41 of the passengers, including survivors, had been pulled out of the wreckage as at 8.50pm.
It is understood that the bus driver, who was among the fatalities, had lost control of vehicle while going downhill en-route to Kuala Lumpur, ramming into a divider before the fatal plunge some 2km from the Chin Swee Caves Temple.
The daily also reported that traffic had been backed up on the narrow mountain road to make way for rescue personnel working to reach the scene of the crash.
Bernama reported that Fire and Rescue Department and Civil Service Department rescuers are using a crane to get down into the ravine and bring up the victims.
Road fatalities involving express buses have been a recurrent issue in Malaysia.
Today's crash may be the most deadly in recent years.
The record for the highest fatalities previously was December 20, 2010 when an express bus, also on its way down from Genting Highlands, hit a divider and overturned, killing 27 people onboard, including the driver.
A year before that, 10 people died on December 26, when the northbound bus they were in crashed into the guardrail at the Ipoh toll plaza.
Another 10 died on December 7, 2008 when their express bus skidded and overturned in Pagoh, Johor.
Another incident with high fatalities happened on August 13, 2007 when 22 people, including the driver, died when the express bus they were travelling in crashed near the Bukit Gantang, Perak rest area on the North-South Expressway.
More recently, a teacher and three students were killed on November 11, 2011 when their chartered bus collided with a tanker while they were on their way up Genting Highlands from Kulim, Kedah.
Rescue operations are still ongoing.