KUALA LUMPUR - Parents wailed openly over the deaths of their children. Over to one side, in a quiet corner, a couple huddled together, the wife trying her best to console her husband, his head buried in his hands, tears dropping in a steady stream.
The mood at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary yesterday was sombre, the air laden with despair and hopelessness as the families of the 37, who died in the country's worst bus crash, gathered to claim the remains of their loved ones.
At the hospital's forensics department, Lee Siew Ying stared blankly. Her face was that of a mother's whose heart had been shattered into a million pieces by the death of her son, Sia Chin Shin, 22, whom she described as "a loving son".
Her husband, Yu Zheng Yang, 55, was trying to make sense of their son's death, wailing and sobbing uncontrollably. When he had no more tears left to shed, he buried his head in his hands.
Their son, the youngest of five, had gone to Genting Highlands to pick up his girlfriend, Kwan Chin Yii, also 22. The two Universiti Putra Malaysia students were both killed in the crash.
"My sister went in to identify my son's body. I just could not do it," said Lee.
As droves of people, mostly volunteers and curious onlookers made their way to the area, family members waited for their turn to claim the bodies.
The sight of a son coming to terms with his father's death and mustering everything in him to make funeral arrangements after a frantic all-night search at hospitals, brought others to tears.