27 dead in In­done­sia bus plunge

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

At least 27 peo­ple have died and more than a dozen were in­jured af­ter a bus plunged into a ravine in In­done­sia, of­fi­cials said on Tues­day.

The bus ca­reered into a 150m ravine in South Su­ma­tra prov­ince just be­fore mid­night (1600 GMT) on Mon­day and ended up in a river, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

Head of the lo­cal search and res­cue team Berty Kowaas said divers were search­ing near the bus, which was half sub­merged.

Res­cuers were also scour­ing nearby slopes for the miss­ing.

“The cur­rent in the river is quite strong so there’s a pos­si­bil­ity some vic­tims were car­ried away,” Kowaas told Kom­pas TV on Tues­day. The ac­ci­dent hap­pened in a re­mote and steep area near the town of Pa­gar Alam, ham­per­ing search ef­forts.

Footage shared by the res­cue team showed bod­ies be­ing re­trieved out of the river and placed on stretch­ers.

Lo­cal po­lice chief Dolly Gu­mara said the bus was car­ry­ing more peo­ple than ini­tially be­lieved and sev­eral pas­sen­gers could still be miss­ing. No other ve­hi­cle was in­volved in the ac­ci­dent, she added. Ac­cord­ing to a pas­sen­ger man­i­fest, the re­gional bus left Bengkulu prov­ince for Pa­gar Alam with 27 on board but some sur­vivors told po­lice there were around 50 peo­ple in­side when the ac­ci­dent hap­pened.

“Some pas­sen­gers were prob­a­bly added along the way so there’s a pos­si­bil­ity some more peo­ple are still miss­ing in the river,” Gu­mara said, adding the cause was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

In­jured sur­vivors have been taken to hos­pi­tal for treat­ment and the cause of the ac­ci­dent is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

Traf­fic ac­ci­dents are com­mon in the South­east Asian archipelag­o, where ve­hi­cles are of­ten old and poorly main­tained and road rules reg­u­larly flouted.

(AFP)

Res­cue per­son­nel re­triev­ing a vic­tim af­ter a bus ca­reered into a ravine and ended up in a river killing dozens, in South Su­ma­tra on Mon­day

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