At least 37 were killed after a tourist bus plunged into ravine near Malaysia’s Genting Highlands resort on Wednesday in one of the worst road accidents in a decade in the country, authorities said.
The bus, carrying 53 people including the driver, went off cliff and plunged some 60 metres into the ravine when it travel downhill from the hill top resorts in the afternoon. 16 passengers were rescued and sent to nearby hospitals, and the death toll may rise as some are in critical condition, according to the figure released by the fire and rescue department
Rescue teams use crane to transferred the victims as the crash site was inaccessible for rescue vehicle. Liow Tion Lai, a local Parliament Member, said the rescue team had to fasten the bus before the getting the victims.
The search and rescue ended late evening and police said the cause of the accident had yet to be determined.
“We have requested the authorities to speed up the investigations and give us a clear report, so that such accident would not repeat again.” Liow said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the bus was probably overloaded.
Police said at least three foreigners were on the bus, including one Chinese citizens.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak tweeted on his micro-blog to expressed condolences to the victims’ family. Genting Highlands, located some 50 kilometers from the capital Kuala Lumpur, was a hot tourists attraction for its cool air and the country’s only casino. There are many steep slopes and sharp turns on the road to the resorts with similar accidents in the past.
In 2012, two tourists from India died and 20 other passengers were injured when a tour bus overturned near Genting highlands. In 2010, Seven people were killed and another 20 injured when a tourist bus skidded and overturned near a resort.