Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thai girl dies in bus crash

KUALA TERENGGANU: An express bus plunged into a ravine along the Kuala Terengganu-Kota Baru road early yesterday, killing a Thai girl.

According to Bernama, Terengganu deputy police chief Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the other 22 passengers, 15 of them Thai nationals, were injured and had been sent to hospital.

He said the bus was travelling from Rantau Panjang to Kuantan when it crashed into the 12.5m-deep ravine at the 33rd kilometre of the road at 12.58am.

Jalaluddin identified the dead girl as 11-year-old Anna Mail Amin.

The bus driver, Zainal Abidin Mohd Nor, 41, was injured while co-driver, Wahid Samad, 49, was unhurt, he said.

Anna was one of the three passengers pinned underneath the overturned bus, said State Fire and Rescue assistant director (operations) Supt Mohd Nor Yazid Rosli.

She died on the spot but fire and rescue personnel managed to rescue the other two, a man and a woman in their 20s, he added.

Jalaluddin said initial investigation showed that the bus, belonging to Mekar Ekspres Sdn Bhd, was speeding.

“When the bus came to the sharp bend at km33, it went out of control and plunged into the ravine and overturned,” he said while visiting some of the injured passengers at the Sultanah Nur Zahirah Hospital (HSNZ) here.

He said seven passengers were rushed to HSNZ. Anna’s body was also taken there.

Fifteen other passengers and driver Zainal Abidin were taken to the Setiu Hospital, he added.

Jalaluddin said the two drivers were assisting police in the investigation.

He said all the Thai passengers had valid travel documents and they were heading for Kuantan to visit relatives or look for jobs.

Passenger, Mohd Najhan Othman, 28, from Permatang Badak, Kuantan, said he just shut his eyes and said a prayer when the bus hit the barrier railing on the left of the road.

“I was thrown from my seat and found myself underneath other passengers. I managed to get up and found a child caught between one of the seats. I tried to help free the child but failed,” said Mohd Najhan.

Meanwhile, in Putrajaya, SIM LEOI LEOI reports that the committee investigating the bus crash in Seremban in which a soldier died and 29 others were injured will recommend to the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board to suspend the company’s permit.

Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Noh Omar said Konsortium Bas Ekspress Semenanjung had been involved in three other accidents since December last year.

The board is expected to meet soon.

In the April 8 accident, Mohd Arshad Razali was killed when the express bus plunged into a ravine along the North-South Expressway.

The bus had 52 outstanding traffic summonses and its driver then was said to have just obtained his commercial driving licence only a few months ago.

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