21 Disember, 2010

[hang nadim] 27 die in bus crash horror: Bodies strewn on road

By Jaspal Singh and P. Chandra Sagaran

The bus breached the concrete divider before crashing into the slope. The bus is moved from the drain to allow investigators to look for clues yesterday. — NST picture by Ikhwan Munir Police and rescue personnel at the crash scene. Remains of the dead at the crash site yesterday. — NST pictures by Ikhwan MunirIPOH: Three Malaysians and 24 Thais were killed in the country’s worst road accident when an express bus they were travelling in overturned and crashed into a rocky slope along the Simpang Pulai-Kampung Raja road, about 15km from here yesterday.
The double-decker bus had 37 people on board when it was heading down from Cameron Highlands.

At 11.40am, it breached a concrete divider, rolled over a few times and crashed roofside into a rocky slope before coming to a halt on its side in a monsoon drain at the foot of the slope.

The bodies of some of the dead victims were strewn on the road, with some of their body parts mutilated due to the impact.

The roof of the double-decker bus was partially torn from its body with the upper deck’s floor pressing down on passengers seated on in the lower deck.

A rescue team comprising about 100 personnel from various agencies took about three hours to retrieve the deceased dead and the those seriously injured.

Acting Perak police chief Datuk Zakaria Yusuf said 22 out of the 27 victims died on the spot while the rest succumbed to their injuries either on the way to or after being admitted to Ipoh Hospital.

The condition of the remaining 10 victims was being monitored closely due to the seriousness of their injuries they had sustained during the impact.

“At this point in time, we cannot ascertain the cause of the accident but police suspect that it could have been caused by a technical problem or speeding,”.

“However, what can be said for certain is that the impact was great to have caused so many fatalities,” he said at the site of the accident.

Zakaria said the first team of firemen and policemen reached the scene around noon, about 20 minutes after the accident.

He said police were still trying to ascertain the identities of the victims deceased and the injured.

“The three Malaysians who died on the spot were the bus driver of the bus, the assistant bus driver and a tour guide.

“They wereAll of them are employees of San Express Holiday Sdn Bhd based in Jitra, Kedah. It alsowhich is the ownser of the double-decker express bus based in Jitra, Kedah.”

The road was closed to traffic on both sides until 4pm, after which vehicles coming down from Cameron Highlands were allowed to pass.

At press time, the road leading up to Cameron Highlands was still closed to traffic to facilitate forensic investigation into the accident and to allow ow the bus to be towed hereback to Ipoh.

The site of yesterday’s accident is about 500m from the spot where an Kurnia Bestari express bus had plunged into a ravine on Dec 23, 2004 while proceeding downhill on the same road, killing five passengers and seriously injuring 17 others.


1. Omar Shahidan, 48 (Malaysian driver)
2. Charcart Knagsuwan, 48
3. Pooporn Poolsaeng, 41
4. Sumruay Swatphet, 48
5. Pongtiawest Akararachewwanont, 45
6. Thitisak Pongtanarat, 51
7. Ekachai Na Banexane, 64
8. Phayone Kruajinli , 49
9. Weera Chuntranwaggn (no age)
10. Soontorn Kian a/l Kian, 38 (Thai Malaysian, tourist guide)


11. Thanyarat Poolsang, 36
12. Nutthiya Inyim, 50
13, Puthinaree Akkrarachewannot, 42
14. Suchanchira Chaigueai, 40
15. Sriwai Swatphet, 42
16. Priya Prassakul Chai, 48
17. Chutima Throukool, 25
18. Junpen Pongthanarat, 50
19. Matana Phromduang, 51
20. Ampaiwan Thiangtham, 50
21. Maliwani Mekmahhprom, 53
22. Achara Wiwati, 36
23. Isarya Thiangtham, 25
24. Areena Somgserm (no age)
25. Natkritta Poolsaeng, 6
26. Rund Da (no age)
27. Darunee Songsern (no age).

Four men (two critical) and six women were admitted to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Perak.

Read more: 27 die in bus crash horror: Bodies strewn on road

2 wanita cedera disangka mati

AIDA MOHAMAD dan anak saudaranya, Faizal Ismail lega selepas dimaklumkan Darunee dan Areena masih hidup dan dirawat di HRPB.

IPOH - Ahli keluarga Darunee Songserm, 59, dan Areena Songserm, 20, menangis kegembiraan di Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun (HRPB) di sini semalam apabila mereka yang mulanya turut disenaraikan antara 27 mangsa yang terkorban dalam kemalangan di Kilometer 15, Jalan Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highlands sebenarnya masih hidup.

Identiti Darunee dan anak saudaranya, Areena yang berasal dari Pattani, Thailand bertukar dengan nama dua pelancong wanita senegaranya yang turut berada di dalam bas malang itu iaitu Malee Boonchuan dan Uraiwan Laddaklon.

Malee dan Uraiwan terkorban dalam nahas membabitkan bas ekspres dua tingkat yang membawa sekumpulan 35 pelancong dari Hatyai, Thailand melawat Cameron Highlands sejak Sabtu lalu. Namun, identiti kedua-dua mangsa itu kelmarin tidak dikenal pasti.

Adik Darunee, Aida Mohamad, 36, berkata, sebaik mengetahui nahas tersebut, dia terus menghubungi saudara-maranya di Kampung Tepang, Pattani untuk urusan pengebumian jenazah kakak dan anak saudaranya itu.

"Selepas menonton berita nahas tersebut di televisyen di Hatyai, saya hubungi anak sulung Darunee, Faizal Ismail, 40, di Pattani untuk memintanya pergi ke HRPB bagi proses pengecaman mayat dan urusan bawa pulang jenazah.

"Serentak itu saya juga minta saudara-mara buat persiapan termasuk gali liang lahad," kata wanita itu ketika ditemui Kosmo! di Rumah Mayat HRPB di sini semalam.

Aida memberitahu, setibanya di HRPB pagi semalam, dia kemudian menyemak senarai nama penumpang yang terkorban dan nampak nama Darunee dan Areena yang ditulis pada senarai nama mangsa yang terkorban di papan kenyataan di luar Rumah Mayat HRPB.

Ikuti berita selanjutnya di KOSMO! hari ini.

Travel firm: Bus was rented
ALOR STAR: San Express Holidays Sdn Bhd, the travel agency that arranged the ill-fated trip to Cameron Highlands that saw 27 people dead, said it had rented the tour bus from SK Murni Tour and Travel Sdn Bhd.
San Express Holidays owner Sor Eng Hock said the tour package was solely conducted by his company, based in Changloon near here, and that the driver and co-driver were on his payroll.

“The driver had recently joined us and as far as I am concerned the bus was roadworthy,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

Sor said he was liaising closely with Thai authorities to help relatives of the dead and those injured.

However, SK Murni director R. Shammugam claimed his company, based in Jitra, co-owned the bus with San Express Holidays.

He said Sor’s company had been maintaining the bus since they bought it last year.

“We own the bus together and we share the earnings from his company’s activities. I met Sor in Ipoh while visiting the injured tourists on Monday and I think he might have been under tremendous pressure and it slipped his mind over the bus ownership.”

He said he had also been contacted by Tourism Ministry officials on the crash.

The two men said they were unsure about the number of passengers permitted by the authorities to be carried by the bus

Sor, who insisted that the bus was leased from Shammugam’s company, said his company did not flout any rules pertaining to the number of passengers it could carry.

Checks by the NST found that the tour bus was registered as a 19-seater with the Tourism Ministry last year.

But the print by the stairs at the front of the bus stated that it could carry a maximum of 31 passengers.

Read more: Travel firm: Bus was rented

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