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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Cops: Faulty gearbox caused bus tragedy

Sulaiman Kamal | 5:33 AM | | Best Blogger Tips

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KUALA LUMPUR - A faulty gearbox caused the bus accident that killed two Indian nationals near Genting Highlands.

"Initial investigations showed it was caused by a faulty gearbox.

"We recorded statements from the two bus drivers who said they had problems shifting gears before the accident occurred," said Bentong OCPD Supt Mohd Yusri Hassan Basri, while adding that Puspakom was inspecting the vehicle to confirm this.

A holiday for 22 tourists from Punjab, India, turned tragic on Monday when the bus they were travelling in slammed into a road divider and was flung onto the opposite lane, leaving two dead and many others seriously injured.

The chartered bus had just left Genting Highlands resort and was on its way down when it suddenly swerved out of control.

At the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, the co-driver of the bus, who declined to be named, said the driver had called out to him a few seconds before the accident, saying that he could not shift gears.

"We were not speeding. It is impossible to speed in such a hilly area," said the part-time tour agency driver who sustained head inju­­ries.

He said he rushed to help the driver shift the gear but it was stuck.

"He lost control of the bus, causing it to smash into the road divider and land on the opposite lane," he said, adding that both of them were thrown out of the vehicle due to the impact.

The co-driver said he tried to help some of the passengers despite being badly injured and bleeding profusely from the head.

"Passers-by stopped me and made me sit down by the roadside," he said, adding that he was thankful that the bus was flung onto the opposite lane, and not into the ravine.

"None of us would have survived that," he said.

The bus driver, who sustained light injuries, was discharged from hospital yesterday.

Several other survivors including Kamlesh Sharma, 48, who suffered lacerations to her face, were under the care of the Indian High Commission.

Her husband, who was also in the bus, suffered minor injuries and had been sent to the Selayang Hospital.

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