Genting bus crash: Daunting task for rescuers

Genting bus crash: Daunting task for rescuers
A construction crane with a long boom is used to lower firemen to where the bus lies.

GENTING HIGHLANDS - Fire and Rescue Department personnel were faced with an enormous task when they rushed to the scene of a bus crash at Genting Highlands. The shattered bus lay some 60m in a ravine near the Chin Swee Cave temple and bodies were everywhere.

A rescuer from the Special Malay­sia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Smart), who declined to be named, said mangled bodies were everywhere, adding that he had never seen carnage on such a scale.

Firemen used a construction crane with a long boom to lower the firemen to where the bus lay. The victims were brought up on a gondola attached to the boom of the crane.

"It was a race to find the survivors because we all knew time was running out," said Civil Defence Depart­ment (JPAM) officer Mohd Safari Nasaruddin, 29. "It was the first time I've seen so many bodies and I couldn't stop to think about it."

It was the worst road crash in the country's history. Thirty-seven people were killed and 16 others injured after the bus went out of control, rammed a road barrier and plunged into the ravine.

The stage bus, which was ferrying 53 passengers, was reportedly "wobbly" before ramming into a barrier and plunging into a 60m ravine at Km3.5 of the Genting Highlands road while heading back to Kuala Lumpur at about 2.20pm yesterday.

The site where the wrecked bus lay was said to be a gory one.

Fire and Rescue department assistant director general (operations) Datuk Soiman Jahid said: "We believe the bus skidded out of control before smashing into the concrete road divider."

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