Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bus skidded before crash, survivor recalls

IPOH: The bus that National Service camp commandant Mohd Razip Fadzil was on had just left the Tapah rest area when he started to doze off.

However, less than an hour after the stop on the North-South Express­way, he was rudely jolted from his slumber and thrown from his seat at the back of the bus to the front near the driver.

“I was too shocked to realise that there had been an accident until I saw bodies in front of me,” he recalled.

Mohd Razip, 43, was admitted to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hos­pital here with four broken ribs. “I am thankful to be alive,” he said.

The horrific crash early yesterday killed 10 passengers and left three injured.

Two of the injured were discharged from the hospital yesterday after receiving treatment.

All 10 victims died on the spot. The impact of the crash caused two to be thrown outside the bus. One of the victims was decapitated.

Another passenger Marziana Mah­­mud, 24, alleged that the driver had appeared drowsy moments be­­fore the accident.

“The vehicle was veering to the left and right before it hit the divider and side railings,” claimed the civil servant who was seated in the front seat on the upper deck.

It was a heart-wrenching scene at the mortuary here as relatives came as early as 8am to claim the victims’ bodies.

Ng Chin Beng, 47, said his eldest daughter Poh Ngoh, 23, had gone to Shah Alam for a job interview.

Ng, who also lost his 14-year-old son Kah Kit in the incident, said Poh Ngoh had graduated from Universiti Utara Malaysia recently.

“She was successful in the interview and they wanted my daughter to start work on Jan 4,” said the father of four in between sobs.

Ng, a businessman, added that his children were to have reached Alor Setar at 5am.

“When they did not arrive, I frantically called their mobile phones.

“The death of my children was confirmed by a policeman who picked up my son’s phone,” he said.

Another victim Noor Jismi Noor­din, 25, was returning to Kangar for his engagement.

His brother Noor Jafni said Noor Jismi, who started working in a printing plant in Shah Alam just three months ago, was to be engaged today.

Mohd Razzekhi Musa, 33, said his father Musa @ Ismail Abdullah had gone to Shah Alam to attend a relative’s wedding.

“I was supposed to pick him up at 3am in Sungai Petani. When he failed to turn up by 4am, I called the police who confirmed my father’s death,” he said.

In Klang, Mohd Arif Andi Shaharin said he last saw his parents Shaharin Mohd Noor and Supiah Adam when they boarded the express bus at the Section 17 bus terminal in Shah Alam on Friday night.

“We never thought it would be the last time we would see them alive,” said Mohd Arif Andi, 23, who has four siblings.

Mohd Arif Andi said his lorry driver father often travelled to the northern states for work and sometimes took his wife along.

He said he was informed of the tragedy at 7am yesterday and rushed with his siblings to Ipoh to claim their parents’ remains.

“We are shattered but accept it as Allah’s will,” said Mohd Arif Andi.

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