Genting bus crash: We're just glad bus didn't explode

Genting bus crash: We're just glad bus didn't explode
Investigators examining the wreckage of the bus that plunged into a ravine in Genting Highlands.

MALAYSIA - Rescue personnel had a close call when the stage bus they were lifting from Wednesday's crash site started leaking fuel.

About 100 firemen and police personnel at the scene reacted immediately to avert another catastrophe.

As soon as the wreckage was laid down on the road after being hauled up by a mammoth crane, diesel started flowing from the fuel tanks onto the road.

Recovery personnel scrambled to put sand and earth as well as sawdust from their rescue vehicles to plug the tanks.

Before anyone could breathe a sigh of relief, a foreign worker ambled into view with a lit cigarette, risking a massive conflagration, just metres from the wreckage.

An alert policeman shouted at the foreign worker, who immediately stubbed out his cigarette.

Operations to lift the 14.5 tonne wreckage from the 60m-deep ravine began at 10am .

Genting Fire and Rescue Department chief M. Mahandran said rescuers did not find any signs of a fuel leak when conducting search and rescue operations following the accident.

The bus was lifted vertically after a hook was attached to its towbar.

"We saw diesel leaking from the bus as soon as it was placed on the road. We are just glad the bus didn't explode," he said, adding that the bus had about 20 litres of diesel left in its tanks.

The bus was only moved after the tanks were emptied.

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