Wednesday, January 30, 2008

20 dead in Malaysian bus crash

- 13 August 2007


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- At least 20 people died when an express bus overturned on Malaysia's main highway Monday, tearing off the vehicle's roof and flinging seats into the air in what officials said was the country's worst traffic disaster.

Nineteen people were killed at the scene and one died at a nearby hospital in the northern town of Taiping, local fire department spokesman Amirudin Kamarudin told The Associated Press.
Nine other people on the bus were hospitalized, including a young boy and a man who were in intensive care, said a hospital doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the media.

"The impact of the accident ripped off the roof," Raja Musa Raja Razak, the police chief of the area, told the AP by telephone from the site in Bukit Gantang, about 125 miles north of Kuala Lumpur.

The driver was among the dead, Raja Musa said. Previous police and news reports erroneously said the driver was injured.

"It is the worst traffic accident in the (modern) history of the nation," said Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy, who visited the scene.

The cause of the accident was not immediately apparent, although Amirudin, the fire department spokesman, said there were no skid marks on the road, indicating the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

The accident occurred before dawn on the North-South Expressway, which runs the entire length of the country from the Thai border in the north to Johor Bahru at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula.

National news agency Bernama said the private transport company bus was going downhill when it hit a protective barrier on the side and careened 20 yards off the road before flipping over and falling into a 20-feet-deep ditch.

Raja Musa said the weather was fine and that the downhill slope was not steep.

Malaysia has a high-quality highway system with a speed limit of 70 miles per hour. But speeding is common, and many do not follow safety procedures; tailgating occurs frequently, as does failure to signal before changing lanes.

1 comment:

Jet said...

Do something, please... this is death & life !