KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Dozens were killed after a tourist bus plunged into a deep ravine near Malaysia’s Genting Highlands resort Wednesday, officials said, listing the accident as one of the worst in a decade in the country that is promoting itself as one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world.
The bus, carrying 53 people including the driver, went off a cliff and plunged at least 30 meters into the ravine while going downhill from the hilltop resort in the afternoon.
At least 16 people survived the crash that occurred on a winding slope in central Genting Highlands, a popular destination that houses Malaysia’s sole casino, said fire department official Azizan Ismail.
“All of them are dead, that’s the early report,” Azizan told reporters.
“We’ve extricated all those who were alive and could be saved.”
Police said there were Bangladeshi, Thai and Chinese nationals aboard the bus.
The bus was carrying dozens of passengers when it crashed in the Genting Highlands in Pahang.
Some passengers were rescued alive from the crash site and sent to nearby hospitals, but there are fears the death toll could rise further, according to the BBC.
Rescue workers are at the scene, which is said to be inaccessible by road.
The bus fell about 60 metres after it veered off the road and workers have been using ropes and cranes to reach the site.
Local media reports said the bus was carrying up to 49 passengers when it crashed and that 16 people had been rescued alive from the site.
Officials say they are unable to confirm the nationalities of the victims.
The Genting Highlands has Malaysia’s only legal casino and attracts many domestic and foreign tourists, the AP news agency reports.