KEMAMAN: Three students are in a critical condition after the bus they were in rammed into a moving trailer laden with wooden planks at the East Coast Expressway 2 near here.
They have been transferred to the Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah in Kuala Terengganu for serious head and spinal injuries.
Also badly injured was the bus driver Azman Yahya, who is warded at the Kemaman Hospital for abdominal and facial injuries.
Kemaman OCPD Supt Mohd Said Ibrahim said several other students suffered broken noses and cuts, including two who fainted due to the impact of the crash at 292.2 kilometres of the expressway at about 2.15am yesterday.
Supt Mohd Said said firemen had to be called in to free the bus driver, who was pinned in his seat.
"All the students are from a religious school in Kuala Selangor.
"The double-decker bus was ferrying 53 students and seven teachers to attend an event in Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin in Kuala Terengganu," he said.
Supt Mohd Said said except for the three critically injured students, all the others were being treated here with some warded for further observation.
"All the parents of the affected students have been informed," he said, adding that the police were also checking if the bus driver was speeding prior to the incident.
Azman, when met, said all he could remember were screams from the passengers.
"Three of the students were chatting near the door when all of a sudden, there was a loud sound.
"Passengers started screaming shortly before I passed out," he said.
A teacher Abdul Rahim Mohamad, 24, said they were travelling at a normal speed.
"Suddenly, I heard a bang before being thrown out of my seat."