A tragic accident involving a tourist bus in Malaysia has caused 37 deaths. The disaster brings back memories of the dreadful crash in Monteforte Irpino in July this year, which it resembles in terms of the number of victims and the dynamics of the crash. Just a few kilometres from a Genting mountain resort, the bus crashed through a divider, plunging over 30 metres into the jungle below. There were only 16 survivors, saved during the rescue operation, which was hampered by dense vegetation and bad weather, which made the earth slippery. Three casualties are seriously injured in hospital in Kuala Lumpur, while five victims are still to be identified.
“It was a terrible scene – declared Abdul Malik Mohd Jan, a veteran of the local Huang Tuah Fire Station – In 40 years’ service I have attended numerous fatal accidents, but in that ravine we witnessed total carnage”. “We arrived on the scene at 2.30am – explained Mohd Safari Nasaruddin, an officer of the Malaysian Civil Defence Department – and had to fight through a huge crowd of onlookers that had formed around the scene of the accident. First of all we created a cordon to seal off the area and to allow specialist teams to get to work”. In all, there were 456 rescuers working at the scene.
The causes of the accident are still unknown. A survivor from the bus described to the press the desperate moves made by the driver of the vehicle, which was packed with tourists from all over Asia, to keep it on the road. A mechanical fault is the most likely cause, even though traces of brake marks on the road surface would appear to exclude brake failure. Only an examination of the wreckage, which took 4 hours to recover, and a post-mortem examination of the driver, will provide the evidence investigators need to determine the cause.